SEMA Member News—July 2021

MPMC Leadership Speaks Out

Four members of the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) select committee were invited to share their views on matters impacting the motorsports industry. Here are edited excerpts.

Rob Fisher of E3 Spark Plugs

Rob FisherThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Air Act ruling is a massive problem. The new rule doesn’t allow a street vehicle to be converted into a race car. The original interpretation didn’t apply to modifying street vehicles for use on a racetrack, which is the core of SEMA’s argument in the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act (RPM Act).

The MPMC created a task force to inform folks about the RPM Act and what we can do. This affects everyone—manufacturers, sanctioning bodies, racers, builders—and we have to develop a cohesive message. We plan to work with Performance Racing Industry’s (PRI) Dr. Jamie Meyer and SEMA’s office in Washington, D.C. We’re all in this together.

Looking ahead, motorsports is poised to have a very good year. Racing is off to a good start. The SEMA and PRI Shows will be off the charts.

Melissa Scoles of QA1 Precision Products

Melissa ScolesOur planning for the trade conference paid off. The SEMA team did a great job in vetting organizations that could host a virtual platform. Because it was virtual, meetings could be scheduled outside of traditional times. The virtual aspect was so well received that we’re exploring how to include it next year and still have that in-person connection.

The biggest thing now for members is to be educated about the RPM Act and how they can support SEMA. The EPA’s ruling has the potential to collapse our industry.

Going forward, we’re extremely optimistic about the state of the industry.

Having to pause during the pandemic got people back into their hobby and reignited their passion for racing.

John Lambert of Hypertech

John LambertThe EPA talked about its new tampering policy at a SEMA webinar. What happens if a vehicle isn’t emissions-compliant? The MPMC wants to work with SEMA to help companies be prepared before the EPA shows up.

Know how to get product tested and how to get a California Air Resources Board Executive Order, because when the EPA knocks on a door, it already suspects non-compliance. As an industry, we need to stay within bounds, be good stewards of the environment and still have fun.

The PRI Road Tour was a bright spot—great exposure for the industry. I’d love to see it continue, because it peeled back the curtain and gave us a look at businesses that everyone has heard of but never visited.

Surprisingly, performance-parts sales last year weren’t as bad as we expected. Now that events are happening, it’s going to be an incredibly good year.

Tim Torrecarion of Air Flow Research (AFR)

The majority of motorsports in the United States is at the amateur level—modifying a street vehicle to race. The EPA is looking to take that away, which is why we need to support SEMA and the RPM Act.

Changes to Proposition 65 put a greater burden on manufacturers to inform consumers of the chemicals in their parts. The Wayfair tax requires companies that do business across state lines to collect sales tax, but every state and locality has different tax rates. Again, it just makes it harder and more complicated to do business.

On the bright side, I think everyone will do much better than last year. Pandemic restrictions are reduced, events are happening, racetracks are opening. All things are working in our favor.

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