SEMA eNews Vol. 10, No. 45, November 8, 2007

ECU, CLEAN DIESEL, AND HYBRIDS POSE INDUSTRY'S TOP TECH CHALLENGES

New automotive technologies present specialty-equipment companies with both challenges and opportunities. According to SEMA research, 42% of SEMA members said that electronic control of engine and engine components have a "noticeable" or "extremely large" impact on the industry. Thirty-three percent cited clean diesel technology as having a similar impact, and 30% looking at hybrids as having a noticeable or extremely large impact on their businesses.

Electronics, software and the convergence of mechanical, electrical and material systems—what is becoming known as "mechamatronics" and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) offer tremendous opportunities for SEMA members to grow, says SEMA Vice President, Vehicle Technology, John Waraniak.

"The key point, and many SEMA member companies know this well, is that product innovation does not come from the discovery of technology, but from being the first to use these technologies to create new and exciting market opportunities, as well as solve problems and meet consumer and enthusiast demands," Waraniak explains. "It's estimated that electronics and convergent technologies represent 70% of the innovation in today's vehicles and up to 30% of the value."

For more insight into the challenges and opportunities facing specialty-equipment companies today, visit www.sema.org/research and download the 2007 Trends and Forecasts Quarterly Update-Q1, another SEMA-member exclusive publication produced by the Research and Information Center.

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