TORA: Connect and Engage

SEMA Member News—July/August 2014  

TORA: Connect and Engage

As always, summer is a busy time in the automotive industry, and members of the Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) council will be making the most of the sunshine and warm temperatures to accomplish projects and strengthen their businesses.

Technical Resources

TORA members have a variety of product development resources available through the SEMA Garage.
TORA members have a variety of product development resources available through the SEMA Garage. 

The facility at the SEMA Garage Industry Innovations Center in Diamond Bar, California, is continually improving and adding new features for SEMA members. TORA members can benefit through early and exclusive access to OEM vehicles as well as measuring, photography and testing resources. Some of these benefits can be contracted remotely if a company is not based in California. For more information on the latest updates to SEMA Garage, visit

For manufacturers seeking to develop products for new vehicles, 2014 has already been a productive year. Some of the vehicles that have been featured in this year’s measuring sessions, both in California and Michigan, include the ’15 Ford F-150, the ’15 Silverado 2500 HD 4WD Double Cab LB, the ’14 Toyota Land Cruiser 4WD and the ’14 Silverado 1500 4WD as well as long-term access to the ’13 Ford Ranger T6 and the ’12 Toyota HiLux.

Look to the Future

On the morning of July 16, members of the light-truck, Jeep, off-road and SUV segments will gather at the SEMA Garage to discuss the current state of the industry and explore new opportunities for the future. All employees of TORA-member companies are invited to attend the event.

By participating in the discussion, individuals can help determine the focus and direction of the council for the next year and beyond. Members will also have the opportunity to learn about SEMA’s international programs and new sales tools in addition to discussing challenges with product development and technical resources. The meeting will be followed by a networking lunch with members of the Professional Restylers Organization (SEMA’s PRO council).

If you are not an TORA member yet or are a long-time member who wants to get more involved, this meeting is the opportunity you’ve been looking for. Even if you won’t be in Southern California on July 16, join the meeting remotely from your desk, no webcam required. Visit to learn more and save your seat today.

Self-Promotion Isn’t a Sin

The TORA New Products Showcase is an opportunity for council members to display one or more products in front of one of the single-largest gatherings of truck enthusiasts in the country—the Carlisle Truck Nationals in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The event will take place this year over the weekend of August 1-3.

Products will be displayed in the new-products tent, and a professional photographer will also photograph each one. The photos will be available to the manufacturers and will also be used in a slideshow at the TORA booth and reception at the SEMA Show. For those unable to attend the event, a gallery on the TORA webpage also houses each of the photos along with product descriptions. This publicity is available to TORA members for only the cost of shipping the product entries to the Carlisle Fairgrounds.

Select committee Member Rick Hermann of WeatherTech has participated in the event and believes that it offers a great value for participating manufacturers.

“The TORA New Product Showcase at Carlisle is yet another benefit to being a member of TORA,” he said. “It is easy to sign up, it’s free, and it provides added consumer exposure for our products. It allows us to drive consumer interest back through our local dealer and retailer networks. In the end, it is a win-win for us and our valued retail partners. I encourage all TORA members to take advantage of the opportunity this summer.”

Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) - SEMA CouncilMembers are also encouraged to connect with local retailers to promote quick and easy access for consumers at the show, throughout the region or online.

Product entries must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be the product of an TORA-member company.
  • Must be available for sale (market ready) by the opening of the Showcase on August 1, 2014.
  • Must demonstrate unique/innovative technology and/or be a benefit to the truck accessories industry.
  • Must be a new product or new application of an existing product.

To learn more about any of these benefits, contact Senior Manager of Councils Clayton Drescher at