SEMA News - May 2009

Sign Up Now to Participate in SEMA Show Priority Booth Space Selection

SEMA Show 2008 

To participate in the 2009 SEMA Show priority booth space selection, agreements and deposits must be received by Friday, May 8.

Hundreds of exhibitors have already signed up for the 2009 SEMA Show, November 3–6, in Las Vegas. To participate in the priority booth space selection, agreements and deposits must be received by Friday, May 8. Haven’t signed up yet to exhibit at the Show? Click here to get started.

With the 2009 SEMA Show five months away, more than 400 industry-leading manufacturers have already signed on for the opportunity to connect with buyers, builders, designers and suppliers from around the world.

Exhibitors are encouraged to take advantage of this year’s expanded freight program, providing free drayage to exhibitors with 1,000 lbs. or less of freight that is transported to the Show in their personal vehicles.Questions? Contact ConvExx Show Management at or call 702/450-7662, ext. 120.





The Return of Ultra-Light Drag Racing for a Good Cause

 SEMA News-May 2009-Industry News

 Racers and onlookers crowd around the finish line in anticipation at the 2008 SEMA Pinewood Drag Race.

SEMA’s Light-Truck Accessory Alliance (TORA) has donated a new track to be used at the second annual SEMA Pinewood Drag Race, presented by eBay Motors, held from 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 1, 2009, at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California.

The race, held in conjunction with the 2009 SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, was established last year to raise money for children’s charities Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp. Last year’s derby raised approximately $40,000 for the two charities.

The racetrack was purchased with proceeds from the vehicle exhibits displayed in the light-truck area of the 2008 SEMA Show. The racetrack will replace the two tracks used at last year’s event, which were donated to the charities.

The races will be held prior to the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, where the 2009 SEMA Hall of Fame inductees will be announced.

To sponsor a child at the SEMA Pinewood Drag Race, presented by eBay Motors, visit click here. For questions about the Pinewood Drag Races and the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, contact Lisa Moreno at 909/396-0289, ext. 105 or



Top 10 New Off-Road/4-Wheel Drive Products

SEMA used a new digital tracking method for the 2008 SEMA Show New Products Showcase, allowing buyers to scan product barcodes with a keyfob and receive product details via printout or e-mail. There were 107 new products entered in the Best New Off-Road/4-Wheel Drive Product category. The following are the top 10. See all of the products entered into the New Products Showcase at


 SEMA News-May 2009-Industry News-Top 10 Products

Auto Meter
25/8-Inch Through-the-Dial LED Gauges,, 866/248-6356

SEMA News-May 2009-Industry News 

Delta Tech Industries
HID Jeep/UTV Light Bar, 714/577-8028

 SEMA News-May 2009-Industry News

Skyjacker Suspensions
2009 Ford F-150 6-Inch Lift, 318/388-0816

 SEMA News-May 2009-Industry NewsARB 4x4 Accessories
Competition Snatch Block 9000, 866/293-9078
SEMA News-May 2009-Industry News

Rescue Tape
Rescue Tape, 877/847-2628

 SEMA News-May 2009-Industry NewsDrew Technologies
DashDAQ, 734/222-5228
 SEMA News-May 2009-Industry NewsBulldog Winch
8-Piece 8,000-lb. WLL Rigging Kit, 623/581-0121
 SEMA News-May 2009-Industry NewsWarrior Products
Jeep Rear Corner Cover Up With LED, 888/220-6861
 SEMA News-May 2009-Industry News

Daystar Products
Synthetic Rope Winch Rollers, 800/595-7659

SEMA News-May 2009-Industry News Hi-Lift Jack Co.
Hi-Lift Adjustable Tube Mount, 812/384-4441


 SEMA News-May 2009-Fast Facts 

Media veteran Brian Medford was named online content manager for He joins Cox Communications following his employment with Omix-Ada. Medford has managed print and editorial duties for restoration mail-order giants YearOne and Mustangs Unlimited., Atlanta, GA; 888/512-0094.

 SEMA News-May 2009-Fast Facts 

Standards Testing Laboratories received the Tire Industry Supplier of the Year Award during the 2009 Tire Technology Expo Gala Dinner in Hamburg, Germany. Standard’s Vice President of Marketing Cheryl Schnuth accepted the award, which recognizes excellence and new endeavors in the field. Standards Testing Laboratories, Massillon, OH; 330/833-8548.

SEMA News-May 2009-Fast Facts 

Century Truck Caps, a division of the Truck Accessory Group (TAG), announced a financial restructuring plan aimed at the growth and stability of the Century brand. TAG Vice President of Sales, Marketing & Business Development Dennis DeLeonard will work with TAG National Marketing Director Joel Ayres and TAG Sales Managers Mike Sanford and John Stethem to extend Century’s distribution. Truck Accessory Group, Milton, PA; 800/326-5337.

 SEMA News-May 2009-Fast Facts

The Kasey Kahne Foundation and the Sonoma (California) Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities have partnered for a fundraiser where one race fan will win a custom-built chopper at the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Infineon Raceway, June 19–21. The red-and-white chopper up for raffle was built for Kahne by Orange County Choppers. Kahne will pull the winning raffle ticket in the Wine Country Winner’s Circle at Infineon Raceway on Sunday, June 21 (Father’s Day).



Race car designer Frank Kurtis was the winner of the 2009 Justice Brothers–Shav Glick Award presented at the NASCAR Auto Club 500 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Kurtis’s son Arlen accepted the award. Among his motorsports innovations, Kurtis—founder of Kurtis Kraft—designed the V8 front-wheel-drive Novi Governor Special, which set a track record of 133.944 mph at Indy in 1946.

HandiGate selected SS Sales & Marketing Inc. as its sales representative for the West Coast. HandiGate is a tailgate ramp system developed by an ATV enthusiast. SS Sales & Marketing Inc., Murrieta, CA; 951/677-3116.

Automotive advertising veteran Max Butler was named marketing vice president of Global Vehicles USA. He joins Global Vehicles following 17 years of Saturn marketing for three advertising agencies in Atlanta. Global Vehicles USA is the distributor for Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra. Global Vehicles USA, Alpharetta, GA; 770/753-4441.

Several automobile manufacturers and suppliers have formed the GENIVI Alliance, a nonprofit organization committed to driving the development and broad adoption of an open source in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) reference platform. The founding members include BMW Group, Delphi, General Motors Corp., Intel, Magneti Marelli, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Visteon Corp. and Wind River. Alliance members are collaborating to create a shared GENIVI platform to accelerate the pace at which automakers can deliver new solutions.

Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels is a sponsor of the ORSCA Outlaw 10.5 Racing Class. Mickey Thompson’s Buy Now bonus program will award $5,000 to the 2009 Outlaw 10.5 Class championship team for using Mickey Thompson racing tires and displaying the Buy Now program decal on its vehicles. Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels, Stow, OH; 330/928-9092.

The website for the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) was redesigned to include improved attendee features, such as a speaker spotlight section, multimedia page and a direct link to register for hotel accommodations. The GAAS is an educational industry conference for senior-level executives and is supported by several automotive trade associations, including SEMA. The net proceeds from the event help fund scholarships for students planning for careers in the automotive aftermarket. GAAS is set for Wednesday and Thursday, May 6 and 7, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare near Chicago.

Bassforms appointed new representative firms to cover the United States for its fiberglass enclosures. The firms are David Lee Marketing, End Result, RDS Sales and Marketing, Dynamic Marketing, J&S Marketing, Preferred Marketing and KLM Marketing. Bassforms, Newport Beach, CA; 877/4-NICE-BOX.

National Sprint Car Hall of Fame member Emmett Hahn will be the grand marshall of the 14th Annual Budweiser Oval Nationals, November 6–8, at the Perris Auto Speedway. Hahn is a former champion driver who currently runs the American Sprint Car Series sanctioning body and promotes the well-known Chili Bowl for Midgets every January.

PPG Industries appointed Domenic Brusco senior manager, industry relations, for North America Automotive Refinish. Brusco will be the company’s lead liaison for industry stakeholders, and he will work with industry leaders to identify and seek solutions to business challenges that face the automotive aftermarket industry. Brusco joined PPG in 1988 as a refinish territory manager in Boston, Massachusetts. PPG Industries, Strongsville, OH; 440/572-2800.


By Terry Kohl

The “Mentoring” section of SEMA News collects advice from some of the best mentoring minds in the automotive world on an array of topics of importance to the specialty-equipment industry.

Topic: How do you see the global financial challenges affecting the aftermarket?

The re-tooling of consumer attitudes toward vehicles (fuel economy, environment) combined with the entrepreneurial style of “growth in spite of ourselves” will continue to catch up with operators who don’t recognize trends and run too close to the financial edge. This will result in continued consolidation at the retail, WD and manufacturer levels and may well rewrite the basic dynamics of our businesses.
—Jon Wyly, Vice President e-Commerce and Affiliate Business, Keystone Automotive Operations

Research and development usually suffer during these periods because companies are funding other things, such as payroll, health insurance and taxes. Savvy retailers need to show how the fewest dollars can make the biggest change in existing vehicles. Now is the time to step up direct mailings, open houses and cruise nights in order to compete for our share of ever-tightening budgets.
—John Julis , J & J Marketing

International financial markets have a direct affect on our domestic stock market. Lean, efficiently run companies have the opportunity to survive when managed properly. Seeking new markets for products and services is critical to the success or failure of any provider. Get involved with trade organizations that work hard at identifying and defining emerging international markets.
—Sam Memmolo, President , SRM Marketing Services Inc.

Those companies that are heavily leveraged without access to cash and those companies that have failed to diversify their marketing will suffer the most. Everything will look ugly for a while, and then we will rebloom, with sweeter fruits for our efforts. This process will allow new ideas to prosper in a more open and healthy environment.
—Doug Dwyer, Executive Vice President, Schiefer Media Inc.

There may be some opportunities but, on the whole, consumers are holding on to their money. We’ll get through it, but be prepared for some bumpy roads ahead. On a more positive note, once the economy does pick up, there will be a whole lot of consumers with pent-up desires to modify their vehicles, so the industry should get a good shot in the arm.
—Bill Groak, Account Supervisor, Pacific Communications Group

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