May Indicators: Strong Tailwinds Drive U.S. Economic Recovery
The current outlook of the U.S. economy remains positive, with several tailwinds helping to drive the recovery, according to the latest “SEMA Industry Indicators.” States have lifted many COVID-19 restrictions as vaccination rates rise and consumers are responding. This, combined with loose federal monetary policy and stimulus payments, is spurring consumer spending.
As of May 2021, retail sales were nearly 18% higher than they were prior to the pandemic in February 2020—further helping the recovery. It will be difficult for retail sales to continue to grow at these historic rates in the coming months and years, as the increased opening of the service economy will likely pull away some of this growth later in 2021.
New-vehicle sales hit record highs in April. However, supply constraints are hurting production levels. The auto sector is racing to keep up with this historic demand, but supply-chain shortages may take some time before fully recovering.
For more information, download the latest “SEMA Industry Indicators” report today at www.sema.org/research.
New Hotels Available for 2021 on SEMA Show Block
The SEMA Show’s official housing partner, onPeak, has added several new hotels for this year. Showgoers are guaranteed low rates with no hidden fees when booking through onPeak.
Take advantage of door-to-door service and air conditioning by riding complimentary shuttle buses to get to and from the SEMA Show. All official hotels not within walking distance (more than half a mile away) will run shuttles to the Las Vegas Convention Center each day of the Show.
New hotel/casinos added for 2021 include the Conrad Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Hilton, both at Resorts World, and the OYO Hotel and Casino. Nightly rates start as low as $278 for SEMA Show attendees. Additionally, several non-casino properties are offering discounted rates, including the Hilton Grand Vacations and Residence Inn, both at the Convention Center, as well as the Renaissance, Las Vegas Marriott and others. Nightly rates start as low as $164.
All hotel information can be found at the Travel & Lodging page on www.SEMAShow.com, which features a real-time listing of the hotel deals and discounts available for the 2021 SEMA Show, which takes place November 2–5 in Las Vegas.
GM Breaks Ground on New Charlotte Technical Center
General Motors has broken ground on its new technical center in Charlotte, North Carolina. The 130,000-sq.-ft. facility will expand GM’s performance and racing capabilities and will accelerate strategic knowledge transfer between motorsports and production vehicle development.
Representatives of Chip Ganassi Racing, Richard Childress Racing and Hendrick Motorsports joined GM for the groundbreaking at the complex in Concord. The site was selected for its proximity to partner racing teams and major technical suppliers. The new technical center will support racing efforts across all series in which GM competes. The facility is a $45 million investment for GM and is scheduled to open in early 2022.
The center will also provide more opportunities for GM to recruit top talent in the fields of software engineering, computational science, electrical engineering and other technical skill sets. The new technical center will feature advanced virtual tools, including three state-of-the-art driver-in-the-loop simulators, aero development and other software-enabled vehicle modeling technology designed to enable faster analysis and iteration.
Longtime Pioneer Veteran Kevan Morris Passes Away
Kevan Morris, executive vice president of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. and a longtime consumer electronics industry veteran, passed away on Saturday, June 26, 2021.
A respected member of the aftermarket community, Morris’s affiliation with Pioneer began in 1984. While working at Pacific Stereo selling car stereo components directly to consumers, he was recruited into the role of product specialist at NLS Marketing, a rep firm in Bellevue, Washington, selling Pioneer car electronics to retailers throughout Washington state.
In August of 1986, Morris officially joined Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. as a district sales manager covering car electronics in the Pacific Northwest territory. In the 35 years since, Morris quickly ascended the ranks of Pioneer and held numerous sales and management positions related to Pioneer’s car electronics, home electronics and television businesses, culminating as executive vice president, a position in which he served with distinction since May 2011.
He is survived by his wife, Mary, and his sons, Devon and Ryan.