SEMA News - January 2010
The SEMA Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve funding for the creation of a uniform, all-industry product information data pool. The data pool will enable the sharing of information between trading partners, eCatalogs and those requiring the ability to perform computer searches to sell more parts. The first of its kind, the pool will be a comprehensive, one-stop service to SEMA’s membership and to all other suppliers and resellers in the North American specialty-equipment market.
“SEMA leadership is keenly aware of the critical role that data plays in an increasingly technologically enabled specialty aftermarket,” said SEMA Chairman Rick Rollins. “Our members understand that selling more of our products through existing specialty channels and to a broader audience through replacement-parts outlets requires readily available, complete, standardized and validated product information. This pool will provide that critical service.”
According to SEMA Board member and Business Technology Committee (BTC) Chairman Bob Moore, “The BTC has spent the last three years closely studying the needs of the specialty aftermarket as well as those of the replacement segment. All of our design specifications have been created to service those needs. The SEMA marketplace relies more heavily on product attribute data than does the replacement parts aftermarket. Because specialty products are more often about how they enhance a vehicle’s performance or appearance, data related to performance, appearance or horsepower is sometimes more important than the make and year of vehicles the product fits. That’s why the vision for this pool from the outset was to focus on product attribute data.”
Moore also noted that today’s market is served by a range of catalog and data providers that focus on make/model/year lookups.
“Our expectation is that providing an economical, easy-to-use resource for acquiring product data will spur the creation of applications that search product attributes in addition to make/model/year,” Moore said. “That eventuality will enhance the salability of specialty products at every level in both segments. Additionally, it will provide a potential for enhanced services by current providers of make/model/year lookups.
“Product attribute information is critically important to the automotive aftermarket overall, and there is no reliable single source for it today. The SEMA data pool will fill that void in a credible, cost-effective manner. The SEMA BTC anticipates having a working data pool operating for initial participants by close of the first quarter of 2010.”
SEMA Launches the All-New EnjoyTheDrive.com
In response to member requests to take advantage of social media and other means to raise consumer awareness of the automotive specialty-equipment industry’s products, EnjoyTheDrive.com has been updated and is now live. New features of the consumer-focused website include:
- Access to new products, vehicles and industry trends as seen at the 2009 SEMA Show.
- User-generated content reported by enthusiast opinion leaders.
- A downloadable widget that allows visitors to create custom feeds of vehicle and product information from SEMA members.
- Information about and links to SEMA consumer programs, including Take a Kid to a Car Show, Racers Against Street Racing, the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund and the SEMA Action Network.
EnjoyTheDrive.com will continue to be the primary SEMA tool from which consumers may receive information from the association and its members. Future site functionality will enhance SEMA members’ ability to promote their products to automotive enthusiasts.
13th Annual MPMC Media Trade Conference Moves to Covina, California
The 13th annual MPMC Media Trade Conference will be held for the first time at the Radisson Suites Hotel in Covina, California.
“The value of this event goes way beyond the meetings,” said Comp Cams CEO and SEMA Board of Directors Chair-Elect Scooter Brothers. “It’s about the networking and the relationships that we establish here—relationships with the media and with our peers. There is no other venue in our industry where so many of us can spend three days together and network like this.”
MPMC will also host its annual media reception at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 19, in conjunction with the conference. The annual Robert E. Petersen Media Award will be presented during the evening’s event. The conference will also host an exhibitor appreciation reception on Thursday evening, and MPMC will hold an open membership meeting on Friday, January 22.
“We’d like to see as many of the exhibiting manufacturers there as possible,” said MPMC Chairman Bill Floyd. “I know it’s an extra day of travel, but this is really a great opportunity to share your ideas with the Select Committee on where MPMC should be headed and how to get there.”
For more information on the events, visit the MPMC’s website or contact Jim Skelly at 909/396-0289, ext 103.
Students Earn $250,000 in Scholarships Through Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge
The finalists for the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge were awarded a total of $250,000 in scholarships.
Team Fel-Pro needed just 44:22 to take apart and reassemble a high-performance Chevy 350 engine in the championship round, besting Team MSD’s 56:54 in a competition dubbed “The Showdown at SEMA.” Hailing from the Elkhart Area Career Center (Elkhart, Indiana), each member of Team MSD was awarded individual $7,500 scholarships.
To qualify for the championship round, Team Fel-Pro and Team MSD eliminated Team Hedman Hedders from Loara High School (Anaheim, California) and Team Edelbrock from Van Buren Tech Center (Lawrence, Michigan).
The Ohio Technical College and the University of Northwestern Ohio each donated $125,000 toward scholarships to the high-school students who participated in the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge National Championship. A total of $250,000 in scholarships was awarded to the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge finalists.
Here is more information on the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge.
Identifix received a Top 20 Tools Award from Motor magazine for its Pegisys PC diagnostic system, which features OTC Direct-Hit Technician—Powered by Identifix. This is the second such award for Identifix. In 2003, Identifix received a Top 20 Tools Award for Direct-Hit, Identifix’s subscription-based online diagnostic information source offering real-world diagnostic information.
Mark Mojica joined the ReadyLift team as director of sales and marketing. Mojica entered the specialty aftermarket in 1987 with Rancho Suspension, where he enjoyed a successful 21-year career. He held several leadership positions, including some in customer service, marketing, product management and sales. ReadyLift, Santa Ana, CA; 800/549-4620.
Tire Service Equipment Manufacturing Co. Inc. of Phoenix, Arizona, acquired all inventory, trademarks, equipment and manufacturing rights of Amermac Inc. of Ellaville, Georgia. In business for more than 50 years, Amermac Inc. is widely recognized as a leader in tire-vibration equipment and is renowned throughout the automotive trucking industry and the motorsports world. Tire Service Equipment Manufacturing Co. Inc., Phoenix, AZ; 602/437-5020.
GMB has been approved to supply new lifetime water pumps to the Automotive Distribution Network. The Automotive Distribution Network has 242 warehouse distributor locations with $2 billion in annual sales, and the company services more than 2,000 affiliated auto stores and 1,400 affiliated service centers. GMB has been a global manufacturer for more than 65 years, with more than 30 years of servicing the U.S. automotive aftermarket.
Dr. Hwi Joong Kim, Hankook Tire Co. Ltd.’s chief technology officer and chief production officer, was named the recipient of The University of Akron’s department of polymer science 2009 Outstanding Alumni Award. The Outstanding Alumnus Award is given to graduates who show remarkable achievement in academics or technology. The University of Akron’s department of polymer science annually recognizes an accredited alumnus and honors that person at a symposium during the fall semester. Dr. Kim oversees all global engineering, technical and manufacturing activities at Hankook. Hankook Tire Co. Ltd., Wayne, NJ; 800/426-5665.
ASA Tire Systems announced the following staff changes: Russ Johnson, who has more than 25 years of seniority at ASA, will retire from his fulltime duties; Jeff Manseau was promoted to TireMax product manager due in part to Johnson’s
|C.R. Laurence of Europe Ltd. headquarters
C.R. Laurence of Europe Ltd. expanded its European operations with the construction of a new 71,000-sq.-ft. headquarters, including an office and a warehouse, at Rochdale’s Kingsway Business Park. C.R. Laurence Co. Inc., Los Angeles, CA; 323/588-1281.
Walt Siklich has left Michael A. Kunzman & Associates to form his own sales and marketing agency, AutoRep Sales Company Inc. “With nearly 30 years of experience calling on and servicing some of the leading accounts and manufacturers in the performance industry, I am truly excited to apply my skills and knowledge to the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead,” said Siklich. Autorep Sales Co. Inc., Bloomfield, MI 48302; 248/539-9327.
Butch Lahmann Jr. returned to the automotive aftermarket industry with the online media company CarDomain Network. Lahmann grew up in the aftermarket industry with his family’s business, American Specialty Equipment Corp., and also worked in the marketing department at Keystone Automotive. He left the WD side of the business and went to work for Primedia as its Eastern ad director for the International Automotive Group, whose titles and sites included Super Street, Sport Compact Car, European Car and more. After Primedia, Lahmann went into the outdoor sports industry and worked on media sales for both InterMedia Outdoors and Gorilla Nation. He is now CarDomain Network’s senior account manager for the East Coast. Based out of New York city, Lahmann can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. CarDomain Network, Seattle, WA; 206/926-2100.
The Car Care Council earned a top award from North American Precis Syndicate Inc. (NAPS) for its consumer radio feature, “Keeping Your Car Can Save You Money.” The feature was honored with the prestigious Certificate of Excellence for superior achievement in media relations. The radio story generated 665 placements by America’s radio broadcasters, ranking in the top 1% of all radio features distributed to the media by NAPS.
Jeff Crutchfield was named the regional sales manager for Boge America Inc., providing sales and technical support to a growing distributor network in the South. He is responsible for managing and developing the distributor network from Alabama to Southern California. Crutchfield has spent more than 30 years in the compressed-air industry, working for a number of well-known manufacturers in the design and sales fields.
SoffSeal announced that Monte Stetler is the new president and CEO of the 29-year-old restoration company. SoffSeal, Harrison, OH; 800/426-0902.
After two years of research and development, the Spectre Performance SpeedLiner is officially in the record books as the fastest Cadillac and blown gas streamliner on earth. Competing in the Southern California Timing Association AA/BGS class for streamlined vehicles running on gasoline, the Cadillac-powered SpeedLiner averaged 330.9 mph over the course of two runs with veteran driver Kenny Hoover at the wheel. Complete information and a video of the record-breaking run are available here. Spectre Performance, Ontario, CA; 909/673-9800.
Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. launched FitFotos, a new section of www.pioneerelectronics.com that highlights installations of car electronics by authorized Pioneer retailers. FitFotos enable dealers to showcase their professional installation capabilities while simultaneously helping consumers visualize the fit of Pioneer products in their vehicles. FitFotos builds upon the success of Mobile Electronics Live, Pioneer’s online portal for dealers that offers exclusive product information, video training and technical support. Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc., Long Beach, CA; 310/952-2000.