SEMA News - September 2009


SEMA announced a new program that will make it easier and more affordable than ever for Southern California buyers to attend the SEMA Show taking place Tuesday–Friday, November 3–6, in Las Vegas.

Through the SEMA Show Buyer Bus Program, buyers will be transported from key Southern California cities directly to the Las Vegas Convention Center in deluxe, air-conditioned motorcoaches. Buses depart from Southern California on Tuesday morning, arriving in Las Vegas on the first day of the Show.

Buyers will have more than one full day to explore the 1-million-square-feet Las Vegas Convention Center, meeting with manufacturers and discovering the newest products about to hit the market, before the return trip on Wednesday evening.

“The Bus Program is a great alternative for those who are concerned about increasing gas prices and tiresome plane trips,” said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of communications and events. “Participants will find this to be affordable and convenient.”

Registration for the SEMA Show Buyer Bus Program opened in mid-August and will be open to buyers pre-registered for the SEMA Show. Cost is $25 per person and is available from targeted cities that have the highest concentrations of qualified buyers: Los Angeles, Orange County, the Inland Empire and San Diego areas. Additional details can be obtained from Lisa Schafer at 909/396-0289, ext. 181.

Renaissance Hotel Las Vegas Offers Reduced Rates to SEMA Show Attendees


The Renaissance Las Vegas joins a growing list of SEMA Show partner hotels offering aggressive savings for attendees. 

SEMA and the Renaissance Hotel in Las Vegas have joined to offer great room and hospitality opportunities for 2009 SEMA Show exhibitors. This first-ever partnership heightens convenience for Show participants, particularly given the hotel’s location within a short walk to the Las Vegas Convention Center’s South Hall, housing the Tires, Wheels & Equipment; Trucks, SUVs & Off-Road; and Powersports & Utility Vehicles sections.

Located on Paradise Road near the corner of Paradise and E. Desert Inn, the Renaissance is a quick walk to both the South Hall and a Las Vegas Monorail station. It’s an ideal location for doing business at the Show, then getting out to the Strip for the evening.

The partnership with the Renaissance is the latest in more than two dozen agreements that the association has formed with Las Vegas hotels. Official Hotel status has several advantages for SEMA Show participants, including rate protection, room guarantees and transportation to the Show.

SEMA has been working with all partner hotels to offer aggressive savings for Show attendees. The collaboration has resulted in rock-bottom room rates during the Show.

Book a room for the SEMA Show now.\


One out of every 10 SEMA Show exhibitors secured larger booths than planned in this year’s priority space selection. 

SEMA Show Exhibitors Demonstrate Increased Optimism

More than 10% of 2009 SEMA Show exhibitors booked larger booth space than planned, according to Show officials. Of the nearly 1,400 companies that participated in the priority booth selection process in early June, 12% secured more space than they originally intended.

“Given the state of the economy, we are extremely pleased with the value our industry has placed on the Show,” said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of communications and events. MacGillivray also noted that the association has introduced several programs and incentives to make exhibiting at the SEMA Show more cost-effective and result in higher returns.

“Exhibitors have really responded to offers such as the extended payment plan and guaranteed leads program,” MacGillivray said. “The idea is to make it possible for exhibitors to do more with less.”

K&N Engineering is one of the companies that is planning a larger presence.

“K&N has been an active participant at SEMA for decades, but 2009 will represent our largest level of participation ever,” said K&N Vice President Tim Martin. “There is simply no better place for K&N to educate people about our products and marketing programs.”

The SEMA Show is a trade-only event open to qualified industry professionals. Exhibit space will continue to be assigned as contracts are received.

U.S. Embassies Recruit International Buyers for the SEMA Show


The trade promotion unit of the U.S. government has stepped up efforts to drive international buyers to the SEMA Show. 

U.S. Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary Rochelle Lipsitz, newly named acting director general of the Commerce Department’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, recently visited SEMA headquarters to announce increased efforts by the trade promotion unit of the U.S. government to drive international buyers to the SEMA Show/Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW).

The SEMA Show/AAIW is certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) as a participant in the International Buyer Program. As part of this partnership, U.S. embassies around the globe recruit qualified international buyers to attend the SEMA Show.

In 2008, the U.S. government organized 40 buyer delegations from key global markets. The DOC hopes to increase the number of buyers attending the Show this year, particularly from key overseas markets with the greatest potential for SEMA members.

These targeted markets include historically important European, Canadian and Mexican markets as well as emerging markets in the United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern countries, Latin America, Russia and China.

For more information on growing international sales, contact Linda Spencer or visit SEMA's International website.

Pep Boys Speed Shop

Pep Boys recently celebrated the grand opening of its brand new Speed Shop in Los Angeles. The company is bringing back what it refers to as the “good old fashioned” speed shop from yesteryear to support the performance enthusiast market.

The goal of the new store is to provide one-stop shopping for performance parts and equipment with a huge selection of in-stock items. Whether customers are interested in muscle, tuner, off-road or performance diesel, Pep Boys will offer a huge selection of in-stock performance parts and accessories.

The company hosted a grand opening that featured celebrities including custom car designer George Barris, “Car Crazy TV” host Barry Meguiar, Adrienne “AJ” Janic, co-host of “Overhaulin’” and host of Hot Import Nights and Gale Banks, president and CEO of Banks Power.


Company mascots Manny, Moe & Jack helped the Pep Boys team, along with “King of Kustomizers” George Barris (far right), cut the ribbon on the grand opening celebration of Pep Boys’ first-ever Speed Shop. (Photo Courtesy Pep Boys) 


SEMA Board member and Banks Power President and CEO Gale Banks was on hand signing autographs and meeting fans.


The new Speed Shop stocks a selection of performance parts and accessories for a variety of vehicles including muscle cars, street tuners, off-road and performance diesel. 




The market research firm NPD Group hired Brian Holliday as director of retailer relations for the company’s automotive business unit. He is responsible for managing the partnerships NPD maintains with aftermarket retailers and wholesalers throughout the United States. Holliday was formerly the general manager for Honeywell International’s global filtration business.

“Landspeed” Louise Ann Noeth was named the 2009 Goodguys Woman of the Year at the 12th PPG Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. Noeth’s career accomplishments include racing a 250mph jet dragster and working as an editor-in-chief for Petersen Publishing, where she produced Hot Rod Industry News and contributed to Hot Rod, Car Craft and Motor Trend magazines. Noeth founded Land Speed Productions, which offers writing, graphic design, creative photography PR and advertising, and she worked with Craig Breedlove and the “Spirit of America” streamliner. The Goodguys Woman of the Year award is presented annually in honor of the late Karen Bloechl, who was instrumental in the formative years of the Goodguys association, and recognizes a female industry executive who strives to preserve the integrity and growth of the hot rod industry. Goodguys Rod & Custom Association, Mesa, AZ; 480/460-1932.




InstallerNet offered to acquire the Mobile Enhancement Retailers Association (MERA) a non-profit association of auto electronics specialty retailers. InstallerNet’s proposal term sheet was reviewed by MERA’s board of trustees and has been sent to the association’s retailer members as a ballot for ratification. The results of the vote were expected before the end of July. InstallerNet coordinates the installation of consumer electronics through a network of independently owned installers. Under the plan, InstallerNet’s more than 2,000 members will become MERA members, and MERA will expand its current specialty retailer focus.

Snap-on will serve as the official tool of the 2009 Formula Drift championship series. Snap-on will be on site at all race venues and have a trackside marketing presence. Formula Drift, Long Beach, CA; 562/901-2600. Snap-on, Conway, AR; 501/450-1500.

American Honda Motor Co. has reviewed and approved DuPont Performance Alliance membership as a key requirement for collision-facility participation in Honda’s new Body Shop Recognition Program. The DuPont Performance Alliance is a network of certified collision-repair centers. American Honda Motor Co., Torrance, CA; 310/783-3170.

Yokohama Tire’s Director of Technical Services Dan Guiney was appointed to the Tire Society’s advisory board. The Tire Society has 200 members representing the tire and automotive industries as well as academia, government agencies, independent research organizations and more. Its mission is to “disseminate knowledge and to stimulate development in the science and technology of tires through seminars, technical meetings and publication of the journal Tire Science and Technology.Yokohama Tire, Fullerton, CA; 714/870-3800.


Alcoa named Tim Myers president of Alcoa wheel and transportation products. He succeeds Kevin Kramer, who was recently appointed president of growth initiatives. Myers will be responsible for the company’s forged wheels and aluminum structures, a global business that serves the commercial vehicle, defense and automotive markets. Myers had been Alcoa’s vice president and general manager of commercial vehicle wheels. Kramer is responsible for supporting commercialization strategies for growth across Alcoa. Kramer joined the company in 2004 as president of its cast auto wheels business. Alcoa, Newburgh Heights, OH; 800/242-9898.

Pilot Automotive and Wyers Products Group announced a strategic partnership for the distribution of Trimax Lock Products, a division of Wyers. Pilot will be responsible for retail customers, including AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, Pep Boys, CSK/O’Reilly’s and Wal-Mart, along with selected traditional and non-traditional outlets. Trimax will continue with its current distribution. Pilot Automotive, City of Industry, CA; 626/937-6988.

Eastman & Accomplices has launched a new public relations concept, “Take-Out PR.” The program allows Eastman customers to purchase individual PR elements, such as press releases and media lists, and then use their own in-house resources for other elements, such as distribution and fulfillment. More information: Christine Eastman at Eastman & Accomplices, Laguna Niguel, CA; 949/481-5561.

Mishimoto has partnered with Rhys Millen Racing and the 550hp Hyundai Genesis Coupe drift car. The car will use Mishimoto’s M Line intercooler to keep engine temperatures under control for the remainder of the Formula Drift season. Mishimoto, Wilmington, DE; 302/762-4501.


The Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous 2009 Cruisin’ Hall of Fame inductees are Wanda Wells of Wanda’s Upholstery in the builder/designer category; Airstream in the manufacturer/vehicle category; Westways magazine in the media/entertainment category; and the Grand National Roadster Show in the historical/misc. category. The inductees will be honored at the Cruisin’ Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday, September 19, at the San Bernardino County government center rotunda, 385 N. Arrowhead Ave, San Bernardino, California, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Tickets are $30 per person and must be purchased in advance at the Route 66 Rendezvous office, 415 West 2nd Street, San Bernardino. For more information on the Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous.

Covercraft Industries Inc. entered into an agreement to purchase most of the assets of Global Accessories Inc. The product lines in the agreement are Wolf Automotive, Powersports and Marine covers, LeBra front-end covers, DashMat dashboard covers, Premier floor mats and Spidy Gear cargo web product lines. Global’s Downey Products and LeBra tonneau covers product lines were not included in the purchase. The transaction was concluded on Monday, June 15, and management is in the process of determining how and when production of the Global Accessories products will resume. Covercraft Industries Inc., Pauls Valley, OK; 405/238-9651.

The Toyota Camry Hybrid made its debut as the pace car at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on July 4. The hybrid Camry lead the starting field of the King Taco 200 NASCAR Camping World West Series race. A similar Toyota Camry Hybrid pace car made its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in May at Lowe’s Motor Speedway when it became the first hybrid vehicle to serve as the official pace car for an entire race. Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, Irwindale, CA; 626/358-1100.

CADNA Automotive Inc. has named Rene Daudelin vice president of retail sales. Daudelin most recently served as the vice president of sales and marketing for International Lubricants Inc. CADNA Automotive is the licensee of automotive brands such as Prestone, Autolite and Fram.


The Automotive Communication Council named its new officers and board of governors for 2009. The new officers are President Neal Zipser, NZ Marketing & Communications; First Vice President David Kobuszewski, NASCAR; Second Vice President Tony Molla, National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence; Treasurer Aaron Shaffer, KYB America; Secretary Dawn Gagne, Exide Technologies; and Immediate Past President Katie Noga, SKF. Newly elected 2011 term board members are Ted Hughes, MAHLE Clevite Inc.; Tom Marx, the Marx Group; and Gary Molinaro, The Greensheet. For more information, visit The Automotive Communication Council website.

The recipient of the 2009 Vic and Nancy Edelbrock Scholarship is Mathew Mitchell, a student at Torrance, California, High School. Edelbrock President Vic Edelbrock presented Mitchell with a check for $1,500. Mitchell, selected for the scholarship through an essay submission as a top performer in Torrance High’s automotive class, plans to pursue a degree in business and has the career goal of turning his hobby into something that he can enjoy every day. Edelbrock, Torrance, CA; 310/781-2222.

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