Thu, 11/16/2023 - 14:59

By Ashley Reyes

Robert Cavanagh--senior product manager at AP EmissionsTORA Technologies LLC--is the latest Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN) member to share his insight on technology trends that he is utilizing and seeing in the automotive aftermarket industry.  

Read more in his interview with SEMA News below. 

SEMA News: What technology tools, new or old, have you leaned on recently?

Robert Cavanagh: I am a huge proponent of using Excel to manipulate data. It might seem like an older tool, and sometimes it may not be the best tool for a very specific task, but it's a jack of all trades and can handle just about anything reasonably well. Its versatility is a strong point, especially as Microsoft continues to add features.

SN: What new trends have you noticed within the industry?

RC: As a catalytic converter manufacturer, we have noticed a significant trend of OEs using larger and more complex converter systems as emissions regulations become stricter. This has led to more intricate pipe routing and bending, as well as an increase in catalyst material used. There are also more sensors to integrate the emissions control systems with the ECU, becoming an active part of the system rather than a passive one.

SN: What is the single best career advice you've been given?

RC: I always think of a quote from a past mentor when I see this question: "Don't be afraid to take action because not choosing a path forward is the wrong choice. If you don't make a decision, the decision will make you (or break you). If you need more information to make your decision, don't wait; go out and get it."

Fill out an ETTN Member Insight form to share your latest breakthroughs with new technology and share your tips with other members. Selected candidates will be featured on ETTN's social media, SEMA News and future ETTN Member Updates. 

Thu, 11/16/2023 - 14:34

By Ashley Reyes

The SEMA Businesswomen's Network (SBN) has confirmed itsSBN WLF 2024 Women's Leadership Forum for March 5-7 in Austin, Texas, building upon an already successful program that has helped empower and elevate women in the automotive aftermarket since the event's inception in 2021. Register for the 2024 SBN Women's Leadership Forum here.

The 2024 event, themed "EVOLVE: Advancing the Future of Women in Leadership," will help SBN members succeed by teaching them essential leadership skills through interactive education sessions, keynote speeches and engaging instruction from top-tier leadership experts.

The forum happens at a time when women have worked their way through the ranks of the professional world to represent 58.4% of the U.S. workforce. Yet, they continue to hold a vastly smaller percentage of leadership positions than men in various sectors. According to a recent study, as of 2023, only 35% of top management positions are held by women, and women represent only 10.4% of leadership positions at Fortune 500 companies*.  

Reports also show women face unique challenges in the working world as they are often held to higher standards, and many businesses don't feel "ready" to hire women for top executive positions.* These challenges, which are tackled head-on during the SBN Women's Leadership Forum, are amplified in the traditionally male-dominated automotive industry.

"The SBN forum offers a safe space for women to come together to share their experiences and celebrate their wins," said SBN Director Nicole Bradle. "In addition to fostering connections with women who understand their industry inside and out, attendees will walk away with tangible action plans to maximize their professional impact and communicate their value." 

Keynote sessions will focus on how to shift your mindset to live an intentional life and habits that hold you back from a raise. Panel discussions will delve into advancing women's leadership and include workshops to define one's individual roadmap. Past attendees have also noted their success with the program:

"The SBN Leadership Forum gave me the confidence and boost I needed to advance my career," said April Rogers of Dee Zee Inc. "There is nothing that is unattainable. SBN taught me leadership skills that were so beneficial, that not only will help me, but more importantly, help the teams that I lead!" 

"The SBN's mission is to provide opportunities for professional women in the industry to enhance their careers and positively impact the growth of the entire automotive aftermarket. This forum is the place for SBN members to come together to give each other support and advice, and take part in an invaluable experience," Bradle added.

Registration for the SBN Women's Leadership Forum is now open at  

*Source: 25 Women In Leadership Statistics [2023]: Facts On The Gender Gap In Corporate And Political Leadership--Zippia.

Thu, 11/16/2023 - 14:15

By the SEMA Washington, D.C., office

SEMA has joined the United States Chamber of Commerce, theTransport American Trucking Associations, Truckload Carriers Association and National Tank Truck Carriers this week, filing an amicus brief (friend of the court) supporting the "Western States Trucking Association and Construction Industry Air Quality Coalition, Inc. vs. United States Environmental Protection Agency" petition, which is currently pending before the D.C. Circuit Court.

The "Western States Trucking" petition to the court challenges the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) waiver granted to California, permitting the state to implement its Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) Regulation, California's zero-emissions mandate for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. SEMA's friend of the court supports the petitioners' challenge to the EPA.

The organizations and their members in this friend of the court briefing represent a wide range of businesses in the supply chain that are affected by California's imposition of new zero-emissions requirements on the trucking industry. While some SEMA members supply parts and services to the medium- and heavy-duty trucking industry, the broader membership will be significantly impacted if ACT is implemented in its current form as a result of increased shipping costs and further disruptions to supply chains, including import and export of parts and raw materials.

The brief re-emphasizes SEMA's position that government policy, in its quest to achieve lower or zero automotive emissions goals, should remain technology neutral.

The arguments laid out in the petitioners' case include the following challenges to EPA's waiver for the ACT Regulation:

  • EPA's waiver exceeded legal bounds. The EPA failed to consider commenters' concerns over multiple fatal flaws in the ACT Regulation. As a result, California's decision to accelerate its in-state mandates for on-road, zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks will force upheaval on the national trucking sector, with serious repercussions for the consumers, communities, and industries that rely upon it nationwide.
  • California failed to adequately address the development of the infrastructure, or the procurement of raw materials needed to support battery-powered trucks on the road, as well as the upstream and downstream emissions produced by switching to battery power.  

California's standards are also inconsistent with federal requirements concerning technological feasibility and necessary lead time, resulting in unattainable goals. 

The standards also impose prohibitive costs on manufacturers and purchasers, with serious repercussions for the broader transportation industry. It also puts greater pressure on small and medium-sized businesses that cannot easily afford electric trucks and mandating equipment with operational capabilities that are insufficient to meet the needs of the nation's supply chain. 

  • Because the trucking industry serves nearly all other sectors of the economy, the costs imposed by the standards will be passed on in the form of higher prices for countless goods and services.

The federal Clean Air Act (CAA) allows California to establish emission standards while requiring EPA to curtail State overreach. Under the federal CAA, states are preempted from establishing their own vehicle and engine emissions standards. 

  • At that time, however, Congress granted California leeway to develop its own standards while permitting other states to adopt California's standards. However, Congress did not give California unreviewable free rein under this exception.
  • The petition also notes that even the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has warned that the drive toward battery-electric vehicles presents "challenges in ensuring that the raw materials are sustainably sourced given that their exploitation is often associated with undesirable environmental footprints, poor human rights and worker protection."

A full copy of the amicus brief can be found here.

Thu, 11/16/2023 - 14:04

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

Whether it's protecting the right to repair and modify vehicles withWashington Rally advanced technology, combating vehicle technology mandates that limit consumer choice or protecting motorized access to federal government lands, there are many issues facing SEMA members in the nation's capital. With the 2024 presidential election heating up and the balance of power in both the House and Senate up for grabs, it's more important than ever for SEMA members to come to Washington, D.C., to advocate for the industry!

Mark your calendars now to join fellow SEMA members in Washington, D.C., on May 8-9, for the 2024 SEMA Washington Rally.

During the Rally, you will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with your United States senators, representatives and key congressional aides to discuss the issues that matter most to your business and the industry.

Registration will officially open later this spring. There is never any cost to participate.

To register or for more information, contact Eric Snyder at

Thu, 11/16/2023 - 13:43

By the SEMA Washington, D.C., office

Maine voters have overwhelmingly approved a ballot measureData requiring automakers to standardize vehicle onboard diagnostic systems and make them remotely accessible to owners and independent repair shops. The initiative, which will go into effect in 2024, requires automakers producing vehicles that include a telematics system to offer an owner-authorized access platform so that owners can access their vehicle's mechanical data through a mobile app. The measure also requires vehicle manufacturers to give vehicle owners and independent repair shops the same access to diagnostic tools that they provide to their authorized dealers and service centers.

The measure, which passed with support from 84% of voters, is part of a larger national movement to ensure that consumers and independent repair shops have the right to repair their vehicles. SEMA and our coalition partners are advocating for Congress to pass H.R. 906, the "Right to Equitable and Professional Auto Industry Repair (REPAIR) Act," a bipartisan bill that would ensure automotive enthusiasts, aftermarket parts manufacturers and repair shops have access to the information and tools needed to maintain and personalize vehicles as automotive technology evolves. The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce recently passed the REPAIR Act, which is now eligible for consideration by the Energy & Commerce Committee. 

SEMA is advocating for the REPAIR Act to be expanded to ensure it protects the right to modify motor vehicles. More details can be found at 

Click here to send a letter to your U.S. Representative asking them to support and expand the REPAIR Act to protect our right to modify vehicles. 

For more information, contact Eric Snyder at or visit 

Thu, 11/16/2023 - 13:12

The following message is from SEMA President and CEO Mike Spagnola:

Dear SEMA Member: 

A strong SEMA Board means wise leadership and an association that servesMike Spagnola its members well. As a member of the Association, we are currently seeking your recommendation of industry leaders to serve on the SEMA Board of Directors. 

 The following seats are open for the 2024 election:

  • Manufacturer (two open seats)
  • Distributor/Retailer (two open seats)
  • Service (one open seat)

Please take a moment and tell us whom you would recommend as a potential nominee for a board member position by completing and submitting a nomination form. To help the vetting process, please include brief information about the nominee's qualifications, such as background, experience and achievements that would make that nominee an outstanding board candidate.

Nominations for the SEMA Board of Directors are due on Friday, January 5, 2024. Please complete and submit your nomination form

We urge you to take part in the nomination process. Our industry has many individuals who would be an asset to the Board, but we need you to help bring them to the attention of the nominating committee.

Thank you for your attention to this important request.


Mike Spagnola

SEMA President and CEO  

Thu, 11/16/2023 - 12:30

By Ashley Reyes

The SEMA Future Leaders Network (FLN) is hostingFLN an online General Membership Meeting on Thursday, December 14, 10:00 a.m. PST/1:00 p.m. EST. 

Open to aftermarket professionals aged 39 and under, the meeting will be the ideal time to hear about FLN's current priorities for members, which include upcoming events, member resources and its 2024 professional development program. Attendees will connect with the Select Committee, discover volunteer opportunities and learn about the network's events at the 2023 SEMA and PRI Shows.

All current and prospective members are encouraged to attend, as it's a great way to tap into resources to enhance one's career and business.

Register here

Thu, 11/16/2023 - 10:51

By Ashley Reyes

The automotive aftermarket industry has seen growth across many different vehicle segments over the past year, with pickups continuing to dominate sales and showcasing strong growth across the industry, according to the new "SEMA State of the Industry-Fall 2023 Report."

Market Report

Out of the total number of manufacturers that sell to the pickup segment, more than three-quarters of them report stable or growing sales over the past 12 months. Strong sales are also highlighted among retailers and installers, with more than three-quarters of companies reporting that their sales have increased or stayed the same during the past year.  

"In addition to pickups, we also found that SUVs, classics and sports cars are strong drivers for the market," said SEMA Director of Market Research Gavin Knapp. "Over 50% of manufacturers and retailers/installers sell to those segments. Companies also see opportunity across a number of traditional and emerging sectors--including hot rodding, overlanding and muscle cars--moving forward."  

The data is from the new report's "Vehicle Segment Insights" chapter, which focuses on changes in vehicle segment sales over the past 12 months, as well as segments that the industry views as having the most opportunity, plus segments that manufacturers and retailers and installers currently sell to. 

"The report is a must-download for any aftermarket company that wants to understand the current state of the automotive specialty equipment industry," added Knapp. "No other report provides such detailed data on industry trends and metrics, challenges and opportunities, and gives an outlook for 2024 and beyond that is specifically designed to help aftermarket companies make better business decisions."

SEMA business members can download the full report for free and access additional chapters on product trends, manufacturer insights, vehicle sales trends and more at

Tue, 11/14/2023 - 14:25

By SEMA News Editors

Nitrocross, the American rallycross racing series created by global iconNitrocross NEXT EVO Travis Pastrana, has introduced the Nitrocross NEXT EVO, the latest vehicle in the series' dynamic development ladder. With a sustainable design integrating components from existing NEXT series vehicles, the Nitrocross NEXT EVO serves as an ideal platform to nurture the next generation of champions.

Developed by First Corner, the NEXT EVO is based on the company's FC2 concept and upcycles components from existing NEXT cars. The vehicle also significantly reduces costs for teams by also offering teams the opportunity to gain a return on their investment via an investment reduction program, where redundant components are resold via a dedicated online portal, the first of its kind in motorsport.

This latest model combines the existing Nitrocross NEXT series' chassis, transmission and differentials with all-new state-of-the-art bodywork, a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, enhanced suspension and chassis reinforcements, ensuring heightened performance and reduced operational expenses, all generated from First Corner's FC2-Kit approach.

"Through the refurbishment of existing cars, we are meeting all the targets set by the series at a fraction of the cost. These upcycled cars are set to become one of the most intriguing developments in this tier of motorsport, and I anticipate witnessing the next generation of talented drivers competing in these highly capable vehicles," said Chip Pankow, general manager of Nitrocross.

The new internal combustion engine generates 450 hp, which can be boosted up to 550 hp using Nitro Boost push-to-pass technology. Notably, it runs exclusively on 100% eco fuel, aligning with Nitrocross's commitment to sustainable practices. The fossil-free fuel emits 80% less CO2 than conventional fuel and contains zero ethanol.

For more information, including steering and suspension upgrades, visit the Nitrocross announcement or visit

For additional racing news, visit the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) website.

Tue, 11/14/2023 - 14:07

By SEMA News Editors

Pit+Paddock has announced its latest endeavor comes to Las Vegas,Pit Paddock the Entertainment Capital of the World, where it will host an unforgettable motorsports viewing experience in a freshly revamped viewing suite. Its guests will enjoy luxurious accommodations, dining and entertainment amidst the full-fledged racing action. The effort flexes the agency's ability to cement strategic partnerships, showcase its accrued industry access and create meaningful opportunities for patrons and guests to network during its multi-day activation. 

"The Las Vegas race experience helps reinforce Pit+Paddock's focus on delivering unique experiences that marry entertainment and motorsport at the highest level," said Daryl Sampson, vice president of business development and marketing at Pit+Paddock. "Being at the right place at the right time is important for any marketing agency, and I believe Pit+Paddock has excelled at recognizing these opportunities. We've found ways to make a big imprint on the industry within a very short time." 

Three years and nearly 100 activations, millions of impressions and one primary goal--redefining how a marketing agency approaches projects--have shaped Pit+Paddock's taste-making reputation. The agency has used its collective experience in print and digital publications, sales and creative production to create a valuable intersection between innovative storytelling, industry collaborations and memorable experiences.

For more information, visit