SEMA News—October 2020

Solutions to Support the Industry

Chris Kersting

Chris Kersting

The decision to forego the SEMA Show in 2020 has been disruptive to all in the industry, but without assurance that the Las Vegas Convention Center would be available for our Show dates, moving forward was no longer feasible.

More than just a tradeshow, the SEMA Show is actually a community mindshare of ideas and passion that fuels our industry and a setting that allows new trends to come into the spotlight. In the absence of the traditional Show, the challenge is to adapt and innovate, for SEMA to help the industry meet the core needs the SEMA Show fulfills. To do that, the association avoided hasty declarations about alternatives and instead has assembled smart, easy-to-use approaches that will help suppliers highlight new and innovative products and help resellers easily find those products.

SEMA has an unmatched relationship with the vast network of resellers and is in position to easily connect them with each supplier, to help build relationships and conduct business. And because this is the specialty automotive world, we’re making sure to provide the means to highlight the incredible cars and trucks that our industry has prepared for the SEMA Show as the best and most exciting way to feature new and innovative products.

As you’ll see from articles in this issue, OEMs are launching new enthusiast vehicles that will provide new opportunities; new products are coming to market; and companies are solving the challenges associated with customizing the newest, technology-intensive vehicles without compromising OEM safety systems.

SEMA will continue to offer resources to assist on all these fronts—plus some new ones.

As we delve into our options, we are already working to adapt print and digital resources to deliver increased new-product information to tens of thousands of jobbers, buyers, installers and builders. By enlisting teams of influencers and leveraging media connections, we can elevate those channels.

On the project-vehicle front, we expect to help builders by providing media exposure, both in print and through other media. Those builders who were working on feature vehicles for the SEMA Show have been invited to submit content to take advantage of SEMA communications channels, and the Battle of the Builders competition—which features customizers from all walks of the industry—will deliver an audience as an online contest for 2020.

When it comes to developing products, the SEMA Garage remains a key resource. Our Tech Transfer program is still adding CAD files to our library, and our Stratasys 3-D printers are still running jobs for members. The Garage continues to acquire new vehicles for measuring, and the emissions lab is also open.

For marketing new products, the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) makes retail exposure more accessible than ever, having recently made investments in programming and automating product-information management systems. Understandably, the SDC is seeing sharply higher volumes of product-information traffic as online commerce activity booms.

The future is hard to predict, but a recent summer trend provided the industry with a needed boost. Our monthly poll of industry companies shows a month-by-month improvement in the number of companies reporting business as usual and a decline in companies who say their businesses will be severely impacted long term. And more companies are reporting sales that are higher or about the same as last year’s.

It’s impossible to know if what we’re seeing is the effect of stimulus programs, interest rates or simply the strength of motorsports and the enthusiast community, but here at SEMA, we’ll be working every angle to help our members keep that trend going.

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