SEMA Member News—November/December 2015

Winter Activities for Motorsports Parts Manufacturers

Motorsports slows down by November, but members of the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) will be just hitting their stride. They’ll be exhibiting at the SEMA Show then hitting the Performance Racing Industry show in Indianapolis December 10–12, and 100 lucky members will follow up by participating in the Media Trade Conference January 26–28, 2016, in Santa Ana, California.

At the SEMA Show

John DiBartolomeo
In addition to three days of valuable meetings between manufacturers and media, a highlight of the Media Trade Conference is the presentation of the Robert E. Petersen Media award at the Tuesday Media reception. John DiBartolomeo, editor of Drag Racing Scene magazine, received the 2015 award. DiBartolomeo has been a longtime supporter of MPMC, volunteering as its “official” photographer at industry events for many years.

There will be two educational sessions at the SEMA Show that should be of special interest to MPMC members, and Gene Zelek will present both of them. Zelek is the co-chair of the antitrust and trade regulation group for Freeborn & Peters LLP, and both sessions concern pricing.

Topic One: Curbing Resale Price Erosion in the Automotive Aftermarket—Everything You Always Wanted to Know But Didn’t Know Who to Ask

When: Monday, November 2, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Where: LVCC, Upper North Hall, Room N253
Synopsis: Consolidating distribution, the growth in big-box retailing and the explosion of online sales have caused corrosive price competition among traditional resellers in the automotive aftermarket and those with lower costs of doing business. Those trends have led to resale price erosion that jeopardizes brand equity, consumer service and reseller viability. In a realistic, no-nonsense presentation, Gene Zelek will discuss various lawful approaches that can be taken to prevent or manage this situation, as well as which alternatives work best in particular circumstances. He will also highlight recent developments and innovative options.

Topic Two: Addressing the Mess in Resale Pricing—A Practical Panel Discussion

When: Monday, November 2, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Where: LVCC, Upper North Hall, Room N253
Synopsis: Resale price erosion affects every level of distribution, including manufacturers, warehouse distributors and both brick-and-mortar and online dealers and retailers. With this in mind, this interactive discussion includes a knowledgeable and sometimes provocative representative from each of the primary stakeholders to talk about the key issues, the actions often taken or ignored, and the effects on the market and the players. Attendees are encouraged to participate with their own questions and comments.

At the PRI Show

MPMC will hold an open membership meeting on Wednesday, December 9, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The feature attraction will be an interactive discussion on current issues facing the motorsports parts manufacturing community.

In addition, the popular “New Products in the Fast Lane” product seminars will now be held on Thursday, December 10, the first day of the show, rather than on set-up day Wednesday. The idea behind the changes is to bring new-product information to more attendees. Nine manufacturers will take part in three simultaneous 30-minutes sessions (three manufacturers in each). Admission is free to all PRI attendees. The participating manufacturers were being determined at press time.

In addition to the product seminars, the MPMC small-business seminar series continues on Thursday, and then the MPMC Hall of Fame induction reception will take place on Friday evening, December 11, 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. The MPMC Hall of Fame was founded in 2010 to honor those who have helped shape the motorsports parts manufacturing segment. A list of past MPMC honorees can be found on the council’s webpage,

Media Trade Conference

As the year ends symbolically for MPMC members with the PRI show, the new year begins with the Media Trade Conference. Every January, the conference takes place at an Embassy Suites in Southern California, where 100 MPMC members set up meeting space in their own individual suites and host 30-minute meetings with journalists.

Key business executives ranging from company owners, presidents and marketing staff to R&D experts and technical experts set up the suites, and members of the media are invited to sign up for private, uninterrupted appointments. During the meetings, the editors learn in-depth details about each company and its products. Manufacturer registration for the 2016 event is now closed, but media may continue to register through date of the event.

Watch for details about the MPMC 2017 conference through SEMA eNews. For more information, contact Jim Skelly at 909-978-6690 or via e-mail at

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