SEMA Opens Phase Two of SoCal Innovation Facility to Serve $31B Auto Accessory Market


July 12, 2013

Contact: Della Domingo

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SEMA Opens Phase Two of SoCal Innovation Facility to Serve $31B Auto Accessory Market

  • SEMA Garage helps small businesses create products for $31B auto accessory market
  • 15,000 sq. ft. one-of-a-kind facility features high-tech labs, tools and equipment
  • Expansion ties in with SEMA Action Network's Collector Car Appreciation Day

(Diamond Bar, CA - July 12, 2013) -- The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), the organization representing the $31 billion specialty automotive industry, opened phase two of its automotive innovation facility in Southern California today, in conjunction with Collector Car Appreciation Day.

Located at SEMA headquarters near Los Angeles, the SEMA Garage gives more than 6,000 businesses in California and across the country access to the special high-tech tools and equipment they need to get their products -- whether a $10 set of replacement wiper blades or a $10,000 engine modification -- off the drawing board and into customer hands.

It is the only known facility of its kind in the U.S.

Covering 15,000 square feet and filled with nearly $2 million of equipment, the SEMA Garage now includes all the tools specialty product developers could hope for and then some, including two vehicle lifts, a portable coordinate measuring machine (CMM) for 3D scanning, a 3D printer for fast prototyping, digital race car scales for the most precise vehicle weight measurements, a dynamometer for power output measurements and more.

But by far the most valuable asset in the SEMA Garage is a fully certified Executive Order (EO) aftermarket-part certification lab. Any company wishing to sell aftermarket powertrain parts in the very lucrative California market must get an EO certification. Working in conjunction with the Auto Club, SEMA is able to provide its members with this valuable, low-cost resource for testing and obtaining such certifications.

This temperature controlled test cell can simulate winter in the mountains, summer in the desert or anything in between. Testing meets all federal EPA and California Air Resources Boards (CARB) standards. Capabilities include emissions, fuel economy, acceleration, brake stopping distance, interior/exterior noise levels and handling.

"SEMA is in a unique position to provide members with a reliable and affordable way to develop and test their products, thereby helping them get their products to market quickly," said Mike Spagnola, SEMA VP of the Product Development Center. "We're excited to expand on the capabilities of the SEMA Garage and look forward to putting them to good use."

The SEMA Garage originally opened May 9, 2013 when the aftermarket-part certification lab was first made available to members. Today's expansion marks the second phase of the organization's ongoing effort to better serve the industry. In the coming months, a suite of marketing support tools will be added to complete the three-phase opening, in the form of a media center complete with a photo cove, photography center and media coordination services.

July 12, 2013 is Collector Car Appreciation Day

A significant part of the more than $31B Americans spend every year customizing and personalizing their cars, trucks and SUVs comes specifically from automotive restoration and vehicle enthusiasts working hard to preserve our automotive history.

To help raise awareness of the role automotive restoration and collection plays in American society the SEMA Action Network (SAN), SEMA's advocacy arm, created Collector Car Appreciation Day. The day is recognized nationwide through Senate Resolution 176.

Watch automotive celebrity Courtney Hansen speak about Collector Car Appreciation Day by visiting or by clicking here.

In Southern California, where many car culture trends began more than 50 local auto aftermarket business owners shared their passion for Collector Car Appreciation Day by gathering at SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar with their collectible, hot rod and classic cars.

The SAN is a nationwide partnership between vehicle clubs, enthusiasts and members of the specialty auto parts industry who want to protect their hobby. Founded in 1997, the SAN was designed to help stamp out legislative threats to the automotive hobby and pass favorable laws. To date, SAN efforts nationwide have resulted in positive outcomes on a wide range of issues, including vehicle scrappage ("clunker") laws, equipment standards, registration classifications, emissions-test exemptions, and hobbyist rights.

About SEMA

SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963, represents the $31.32 billion specialty automotive industry of 6,537 member-companies. It is the authoritative source for research, data, trends and market growth information for the specialty auto parts industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles. For more information, contact SEMA at 1575 S. Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765, tel: 909/396-0289, or visit or

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