By Michael Hart
The 2015 SEMA Show will present four roundtable discussions beginning November 2, at 11:00 a.m., each focusing on a specific market targeted for American automotive products.
Did you know that an all-new Ford Mustang (albeit with right-hand drive) will be introduced to the Australian market in December? Or that 48,000 U.S.-made vehicles were imported to Russia in 2013? Are you aware that 25% of the buyers at this year’s SEMA Show will be from about 130 countries outside the United States?
If you’re an automotive aftermarket manufacturer, isn’t it about time you learned about these new international markets? That’s why the 2015 SEMA Show will present four roundtable discussions beginning November 2, at 11:00 a.m., each focusing on a specific market targeted for American automotive products. This will be an opportunity for American business people to connect with buyers from Australia and New Zealand, the Middle East, Russia/NIS and China.
“Come and meet with key buyers even before the SEMA Show opens,” said Linda Spencer, SEMA’s director of international and government relations.
Each of the hour-long sessions that focus on specific markets are fast-moving dialogues in which potential buyers and U.S. manufacturers talk about what products will fit best in the targeted market, and most importantly, about making connections with potential buyers in these fast-growing markets.
“These are very energetic sessions,” Spencer said of the roundtable discussions that typically attract 65 to 90 attendees each. “People come to these sessions with some very specific questions.”
All of this is the culmination of an industry that has been growing exponentially over the past few years.
“Export sales are way up,” Spencer said. “China and the Middle East are really growing fast. Russia has had some short-term setbacks, but Russia and the region will soon become key markets. And for the first-time, SEMA is holding a roundtable on Australia—lots of interest on both sides of the pond in this market.”
Spencer pointed out that 42 aftermarket companies have traveled to the Middle East with SEMA and 21 to China. Participants in these roundtables can exchange information not only with key buyers but also with SEMA-member manufacturers that are already active in one or more of these markets.
Noting the upcoming introduction of a new Mustang to Australia, Spencer further pointed out that the American musclecar is seeing a revival of interest all over the world.
“It’s in every country,” she said. “The Mustang and, really, just a lot of excitement about all late-model cars. It’s the latest trend. And it's driving interest in the American brands.”