SEMA News—October 2013

By Linda Spencer

SEMA Programs Aid Exporting Members

Education and Logistical Help for Global Companies


A ’12 Toyota HiLux (shown) is one of two vehicles popular outside the United States but not sold in this country and that is available for SEMA members to measure in order to create export-ready products.
A ’12 Toyota HiLux (shown) is one of two vehicles popular outside the United States but not sold in this country and that is available for SEMA members to measure in order to create export-ready products. 

Exporting automotive specialty-equipment products can allow U.S. companies to increase their customer bases for improved bottom lines, better position themselves to ride out possible future U.S. economic downturns, and increase overall competitiveness through access to new customers. Exporting leads to new ways of doing business, and SEMA supports the global efforts of its members through a series of targeted international programs. This is the second of a two-part series on SEMA programs and resources designed to assist members to grow their international sales.

International Vehicle Measuring Sessions

While there is much talk about moving toward global vehicles—one model of each vehicle for the world—that is not the current reality. SEMA has created a program to help members overcome the hurdles of making products for vehicles that are popular in key international markets but are not available in the United States. In partnership with the U.S. Commerce Department, SEMA launched a program in July 2012 to provide measuring opportunities for such vehicles. More than 180 companies have already measured the initial vehicles—a ’12 double-cab 4x4 Toyota HiLux and a ’13 4x4 double-cab Ford Ranger T6—to allow them to prototype and create export-ready products. These vehicles are available free of charge to SEMA-member manufacturers to measure at the new SEMA Garage, adjacent to SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, California.

Make/Model Data

Last year, Chrysler set a new record with sales of more than 700,000 Jeeps worldwide. Just over 194,140 of them were Wranglers, and nearly 141,700 were Jeep Cherokees. If you make parts for these vehicles—or any application-specific products, actually—SEMA has a new resource to help you identify the best export markets for your products. Reports on sales figures by make and model for 22 countries are available spanning 2005–2011. The reports list the top 25 car, SUV, pickup and musclecar sales in each of these key countries.

SEMA also has data on the top 40 markets for 13 different SUV and truck models, including the Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, three Toyota models, two Ram models, two Mitsubishi models, the Chevy Silverado and, of course, the Ford F-Series.

Legislation and Regulations

SEMA can provide members with legislative updates in key international markets, including Europe, Australia, the Middle East and China.


A record 25% of buyers from 100 countries at the SEMA Show reside outside the United States. Buyers from virtually every nation on the planet plan on attending the 2013 event to select from the newest and most innovative products to sell in their home markets. Given the growing number of international attendees at the SEMA Show, it’s a great place to make initial contact with buyers without even leaving the United States. SEMA offers a variety of programs and resources to link Show exhibitors with these international distributors and retailers.

Place Items in the Ideas Alive Showcase


International Vehicle Make and Model Data  


Make and model data is available for the top-selling cars, pickups and SUVs from 2005–2011 for a host of international locales:

  • For selected countries in the Americas: Argentina, Brazil and Mexico
  • For selected Asian countries: China (PRC), Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand
  • For selected European countries: Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom
  • For Russia, Ukraine and selected Eastern European Countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Ukraine.
  • For selected Middle East and African countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and United Arab Emirates

Source: SEMA calculations from IHS data.

The SEMA Show provides an amazing opportunity to launch new products and spread innovative ideas. A record number of registered journalists—including daily news reporters, magazine editors, television news crews, bloggers and electronic media representatives of all kinds—choose to file stories based on what they see at the Show, virtually ensuring that any newsworthy event, large or small, quickly comes to the attention of enthusiasts worldwide. And the only way to win a prestigious Global Media Award (see below, “International Happy Hour/Global Media Awards”) from leading overseas journalists is to place products in the New Products Showcase.

Attend International Seminars

On Monday, November 4, SEMA invites SEMA Show attendees interested in global commerce to three informal, practical sessions on key markets. From 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., the focus will be on the Middle East market. That will be followed by a session on the Russia market from 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. The final session of the day will focus on the China market.

These sessions will feature key buyers and SEMA members that are already active in the markets, and they are a great way to meet insiders and discuss as a group the latest trends and opportunities while learning to navigate each market’s particular challenges.

Middle East Seminar

Learn how to cash in on this lucrative region at the Middle East SEMA Show seminar (Monday, November 4, from 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. in the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), Room N254. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and surrounding countries provide some of the best opportunities for U.S. specialty-parts manufacturers. Off-roading, classic-car collecting and motorsports are all growing in popularity in the area. Attendees will also learn about the details of the third SEMA one-on-one matchmaking program, to be held in the UAE in March 2014.

Russia Seminar

A 2013 SEMA Show seminar on Russia—Monday, November 4, from 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. in the LVCC, Room 254—will explore the specialty-equipment market in the world’s largest country in terms of area (more than 6.6 million sq. mi.). This will be the first time Russia will be featured, with key local buyers and SEMA members that are already active in the market providing insights into some of the great opportunities and challenges. For instance:

  • Russia is one of the fastest-growing emerging market economies and ranks sixth in the world in terms of annual passenger-vehicle sales. The country’s auto market has rebounded from the 2008–2009 recession, and new-vehicle sales are up 11% for 2012 from the previous year, making Russia the second-largest European vehicle market. With 2.9 million passenger vehicles sold last year, the country is quickly gaining on Germany, the top market in Europe, and many experts estimate that the positions will flip between these two countries in the next few years.
  • There are now 38.7 million passenger vehicles on Russian roads. But with 140 million people, a large, unmet demand still exists for those who have not yet had the opportunity to purchase a vehicle.
  • SUVs represent the largest and fastest-growing automotive sector in Russia, making up nearly 31% of all passenger sales in 2012. Nearly one-third of all passenger-vehicle sales were SUVs—more than double the rate of SUV sales throughout the rest of Europe.
  • Russia has the highest gross domestic product per capita among the members of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), and Russia should be one of the biggest consumer markets on a global basis by 2020, according to Russian Machines Chairman Siegfried Wolf in a interview. Wolf also said that Russia has double the per capita income of China—$20,000 compared to $11,000—and India is at about $6,000. (Russian Machines also owns the GAZ Group automotive division.)

China Seminar

Chinese distributors and SEMA members already successful in the region will provide insider tips at the SEMA Show seminar Monday, November 4, from 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m., LVCC, Room 254. Attendees will learn about the latest trends, applications and perceptions of U.S. brands in the Chinese market. This will be a great opportunity to meet with press and distributors of specialty-equipment products in this market of 1.3 billion people in an informal, practical session that will assist attendees in deciding if this market is a good fit for their products.

International Happy Hour/Global Media Awards

Attend the tenth annual SEMA Show’s International Happy Hour—the largest annual gathering of the global specialty-equipment industry. Network over a cold beer with top international distributors and retailers from key overseas markets. Attendees are invited to meet leading international journalists from 20 countries who will serve on the Global Media Awards panel. The journalists are charged with selecting 10 products each from more than 2,000 entries in the New Products Showcase. The products are selected on the basis of being best suited for the journalists’ home markets, and the judges will be available to talk to attendees about their markets and their editorial opportunities. Exhibitors are invited to register now here.

Center for International Commerce

The SEMA Center for International Commerce (CIC), LVCC, Room N255, is a valuable resource for Show exhibitors and international buyers. SEMA’s international staff will be on hand with a team of interpreters to assist in bilingual communication in key languages, such as German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Portuguese. Complimentary private meeting rooms are also available.

Additional information on all of the by contacting Linda Spencer at

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