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Registration Now Open for China Business Development Program; Australia Registration Closes April 30

By Linda Spencer

Don't miss this opportunity to find new overseas customers with U.S. government support to help defray the costs. Exhibit at the largest automotive specialty-equipment shows in China and Australia in a turnkey booth.

2018 SEMA China Business Development Program
Shanghai, China
August 15–19

Participants spend a week promoting their brands and gaining insights into how Chi­nese enthusiasts obtain products and use their vehicles in this market of 1.4 billion people. Learn about the developing Chinese car culture and eagerness among Chinese enthu­siasts to upgrade their rides to take them to the racetrack, off-roading or everyday use.

The 2018 program includes hotel, meals, networking events, briefings, a tour of specialty-equipment shops and exhibiting at the China Auto Salon in a turnkey booth.

Register now!

2018 SEMA Australia Regional Business Development Conference
Melbourne, Australia
May 24–28

Participants can explore this market of true gearheads and the opportunities for manufacturers of sought-after products for SUVs/pickups, street performance and racing. Sales of the new Ford Mustang are red hot, and Australia is rumored to have more hot rodders per capita than anywhere else in the world.

The 2018 program fees include hotel, meals, networking events, briefings, a tour of specialty-equipment shops and exhibiting at the MotorEx Show in a turnkey booth.

Registration Closes April 30!

U.S. government support is available for qualified companies for both trips. Register now—slots are limited. For more information or to schedule a conference call to discuss the SEMA Business Development Program, contact Linda Spencer at

Kevin Floody (left), director of international sales for aFe Power, said that he was very impressed with what he saw in the Australian market. “A lot of changes have occurred over the past couple of years, especially with the departure of Ford Australia and Holden,” he said. “I was also surprised to see American trucks starting to enter the market. That is great to see, especially for companies such as aFe Power. What also surprised me was how much Ford has managed to dominate the market with the Mustang GT, which is obviously a replacement for the Ford Falcon. Moreover, I couldn’t believe how GM/Chevy has not brought in the Camaro nor the Dodge Charger or Challenger. Australia continues to be a great market for U.S. manufacturers.”


Mike Hallmark (left) participated in the Australia trip as marketing and international sales manager for Hellwig Products. Each exhibitor received a turnkey booth, hotel and meals, with the U.S. government defraying the cost with a grant to each qualified company. “This year’s SEMA trip was great for Hellwig Products,” said Hallmark. “We were able to strengthen the relationships we started building in 2016. Face-to-face meetings prove to be of more value than email or phone calls. By going to the shops and sitting with customers/potential customers, it allowed us to set a solid foundation to better understand their needs and market. We have been able to develop new products that are specifically designed around the Australian market. These relationships will ensure we are supplying the region with the best possible products for their specific needs.”
“The SEMA Australia trip was very beneficial to Dee Zee, and we gained a lot of knowledge about the rules and regulations in that market along with developing several buyer contacts,” said Matt Guerdet (left), account manager for Dee Zee Inc.
“Chinese enthusiasts crave American-made parts,” said Robert Scheid (second left), director of business development for McLeod Racing LLC. “Knowing what they are looking for and finding credible distribution takes participating in this huge market in person.” 
Injen Technology attendees at the show included Ron Delgado (standing), president and CEO, and Jay Crouch, director of global business development (second right). Crouch said that Injen Technology has exported cold-air intakes and exhaust systems into the Chinese market for about a decade. “Chinese consumers are enthusiastic with their booming car culture and are continually looking to the United States for new trends and products,” he said. “These new products and trends are increasingly being reflected in their vehicles, which reinforces the fact that U.S. products are in high demand in China. From U.S.-branded trucks and Jeeps to Euros and sport compacts, every aspect of the aftermarket is represented well in China, and they are yearning for aftermarket support.”

Nickolaus DiBlasi (center), global product manager for Race Winning Brands, was surprised at the size and potential for U.S. specialty-equipment products in China. “The aftermarket potential in China is completely opposite from what I had thought going into the SEMA China Business Development trip,” he said. “[Our pre-conception] was only a high-end aftermarket that catered to exotics such as Lamborghinis, Porsches and other $100,000-and-over vehicles. After spending time in China, we found that there is so much more. We were pleased to see Camaros, Mustangs, VWs, Audis and Toyotas.”