SEMA News—August 2013


New From SEMA: Help With Emissions Certifications and Much More

Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO SEMA has fielded many questions about the emissions certification process over the years, and we’ve learned a lot along the way. We’ve recently taken some important steps to help member companies create performance parts that both make power and comply with state and federal regulations. You’ll be glad to know that these services are now wrapped into a new facility. The SEMA Garage–Industry Innovations Center offers a range of tools and opportunities to help you develop high-quality products more quickly and effectively.

If you are looking for information to understand the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Executive Order (EO) exemption program, both new and experienced members will benefit from our new “CARB EO Assistance.” For starters, we’ve collected all the information you need to know about the regulations and the EO exemption process in a user-friendly way. For a digestible overview, we suggest that you download a copy of the updated SEMA Black Book. It’s available free to SEMA members on

While we expect that you’ll find the Black Book helpful, SEMA also now makes expert personnel available to SEMA members to answer your EO-related questions and help guide you through the EO certification testing process. The SEMA Garage facility also houses a fully certified emissions test lab, the Automotive Research Center (ARC), operated by the Automobile Club of Southern California.

The ARC has been in operation for more than 30 years. One of its core capabilities is testing related to obtaining EOs for emissions-related products. The Automobile Club is working with SEMA to give members the opportunity to work through the iterative process of getting an EO. Automobile Club technicians are responsible for all testing at the ARC and act as a third-party, unbiased entity, which is essential for the legitimacy of the testing.

The Automobile Club emissions lab enjoys a strong reputation with both the industry and with CARB, and SEMA members will enjoy priority access and special member rates for both development work on the dyno and for EO emissions testing. Your company need not be located in Southern California to benefit; SEMA members already make use of the facility from other locations around the country and the globe. (See p. 54 of this issue for an in-depth article on our new EO-related services and the SEMA Garage.)

We recognize that not all SEMA-member companies require the dyno and emissions testing capabilities offered through our partnership with the Automobile Club. I’m pleased to report that the SEMA Garage houses other breakthrough tools and services to assist members in developing a wide range of parts and accessories.

For example, SEMA is expanding the mix of makes and models for our well-regarded Vehicle Measuring Sessions. In most cases, we’ll have the vehicles for weeks rather than single-day sessions. When members show up, they will find that the SEMA Garage is equipped with a new heavy-duty lift, a complete set of tools, vehicle measuring and scanning tools, rapid prototyping equipment and, coming soon, a fully equipped media cove. As an important complement to these tools, SEMA is also taking steps to increase the makes/models for which we have CAD data in our Technology Transfer library.

The fact that all of these assets are in one place and available to SEMA-member companies—whether in Los Angeles or elsewhere—will help many members shorten the product-development path, reduce costs and deliver the highest-quality products. Over time, we anticipate that the SEMA Garage will become a center for information on how we can help our members address integrations with ever-more-complex vehicle technology.

We hope that you find the SEMA Garage–Industry Innovations Center a valuable new set of services for your SEMA membership. To learn more or to begin using these tools, simply contact the SEMA offices or reach out to Mike Spagnola.

—Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO


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