In an effort to counter intellectual property (IP) theft, President Obama signed into law a SEMA-supported bill that enables businesses to protect their trade secrets using federal law. Prior to the enactment of the Defend Trade Secrets Act, the only mechanism for companies to enforce valuable trade secret rights was through civil actions under state law. The absence of a uniform federal standard forced companies to navigate a patchwork of different state laws and courts to bring actions against entities that had stolen or otherwise misappropriated their proprietary trade secret information.
More than 90 SEMA members and staff from across the United States traveled to Washington, D.C., on May 11 as part of the 2016 SEMA Washington Rally. Attendees focused much of their advocacy efforts on the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act, urging their members of Congress to demonstrate support for the motorsports industry by co-sponsoring the bill. These efforts were not only well received but also produced immediate results. Within days of the visit, several members of Congress agreed to co-sponsor the RPM Act as a result of the meetings they had with SEMA members.
Ensuring that their aftermarket products are emissions-compliant under state and federal laws has long been a serious issue for manufacturers. However, a recent step-up in regulatory enforcement has sent a sudden shock wave through the entire specialty-equipment industry, from manufacturer to retailer, making Executive Order (EO) exemption more vital than ever. In fact, it’s no longer hyperbole to say a business’ very survival could be at stake.
There are literally hundreds of car-care products on the market today, each aimed at making cars look good. According to a SEMA market report, the market for wax, cleaning products and other chemicals was worth $1.49 billion in 2015. The majority of the products, roughly 61%, are sold in brick-and-mortar auto-parts chains and retail chains.
Mach 1 Mule
The Mustang 5.0 pictured includes a quad exhaust setup, as seen on the GT350, and with a beefier rear axle.
’17 Silverado 3500 HD
This is the Chevy Silverado HD, featuring the latest Duramax diesel engine, conducting cold-weather testing.
Ram HD Truck
Spotted among various Chrysler prototypes is a heavily modified Ram HD with a cobbled-together front end.
’17 Camaro ZL1
This is the ’17 Chevy Camaro ZL1, caught while track testing in Milford, Michigan.
Industry stalwarts unanimously agree that the hot-rod market is as healthy as it’s ever been. The economy is stronger than it was at this time last year, and consumers have more discretionary income to spend on their toys, partially due to low fuel prices. Although hot rodding—in the most traditional sense—is predominately embraced by aging enthusiasts, the options are diverse, and getting broader.
“Last year’s Battle of the Builders competition at the SEMA Show represents how healthy the market is,” said Rick Love, Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) past chairman and executive vice president of Vintage Air. “There were excellent examples of all the different vehicle genres to pick from. Everybody in the hot-rod industry is busy; they have more work than they can do and would like to hire more qualified people.”
Last October, CARB issued a letter recognizing the SEMA Garage Emissions Compliance Center in Diamond Bar, California, as a Certification-Ready Automotive Emissions Testing Laboratory, making it possible for SEMA to assist members in all aspects of securing CARB and federal EPA emissions compliance.
A lot has happened since December, when we first learned of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal that would effectively outlaw conversion of street cars into race cars. We filed opposition comments later that month. We then met with agency officials in January asking the EPA to reconsider their position. When that failed, we alerted the public in February.
While e-mail spammers are about as popular as a carnival barker at a wedding, too many of us are being unfairly characterized as spammers simply because our e-mails “look like” spam.
’17 Camaro ZL1: This version of the Camaro should be able to make the most of its lighter and smaller platform in both coupe and convertible versions.
F-350 Single-Cab Dually: Like the new four-door Super Duty trucks, the F-350 gets styling more in line with the F-150 that was shown nearly two years ago.
911 GT3: Here are a few images that highlight the GT3's makeover.
’18 Audi Q5: Audi is working on a new generation of the Q5, likely to hit the market in 2017 with a new chassis, new look and new engines.
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