SEMA eNews Vol. 12, No. 18, May 7, 2009

What Has SEMA Done for You Lately?

  • SEMA Show Product Demo
    Trim your Show expenses by developing a plan with SEMA's Show experts.

    Exhibitors looking to make the most out of their Show-related budgets are invited to participate in “one-on-one” exhibitor meetings with experts from Convexx and Freeman. “Many exhibitors make expensive mistakes when it comes to Show production,” said SEMA Show manager Chuck Schwartz. “Exhibitors who take the time to go over their plans with us before the Show will have substantial savings,” he added.

    In a year when every dollar counts, Schwartz says that he has already saved exhibitors 20% on their investment.

    “We will save thousands of dollars at this year’s SEMA Show without comprising the integrity of our exhibit,” said Angie Howard, marketing communications manager for Solamatrix. “Kate at ConvExx offered to review our SEMA Show expenditures and offered several cost-saving suggestions. In this tough economy, we really need to spend every marketing dollar wisely,” Howard added.

    Exhibitors who are interested in scheduling an appointment should contact Gary Vigil at garyv@sema.org.

Breaking News

  • A new digital edition of the May issue of SEMA News is now available online.

     

  •   ChildhelpBuildCarDay
      SEMA Vice President of Operations Bill Miller helps the kids of Childhelp build derby cars to be sponsored and raced at the SEMA Pinewood Drag Race.
       

    SEMA-member companies have the opportunity to get hands on with the kids from Childhelp by helping to build derby cars at the Childhelp Village in Beaumont, California, on Saturday, May 16, 2009, from 9:00 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

    The cars will be raced at the second annual SEMA Pinewood Drag Race, sponsored by eBay Motors, which benefits children’s charities Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp. Childhelp is an organization that assists abused and neglected children, and Victory Junction Gang Camp provides life-changing camping experiences to disabled and chronically ill children.

    “Last year, we were able to donate a good deal of money to help these kids, as well as go out and build cars with some of the children with Childhelp,” said Gregory Parker, 2009 SEMA Pinewood Drag Race committee chair. “We also gave them a track to keep on-site so they could run their cars year-round.”

    Approximately $40,000 was raised last year for the two charities. Stock cars were built by children at their camps and then sponsored by SEMA-member companies through their donations to the charities. Each of the 156 cars built were sponsored.

    “I wish that everyone out there could have seen the smiles on those kids’ faces when they built those cars and ran them down the track,” said Parker. “On that day those kids were Mario Andretti or Dale Earnhardt. They were far, far away from the real problems that they face on any normal day.”

    This year, about 250 cars will be built at both the Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp facilities. Similar to the previous year, a team of SEMA-member volunteers and Pinewood Committee members will lend their expertise to the children. Ryan Friedlinghaus from West Coast Customs will also be attending, along with his staff.

    “This year we hope to put even more smiles on faces by building even more cars with even more kids and raising even more money,” said Parker. “We want everyone to do something. These children really need us.”

    To volunteer, contact Mike Spagnola at mike@streetsceneeq.com, or Gregory Parker at 615/746-8765 or at gp@gregoryparker.com.

    Members that sponsor a child’s car will be the team owner and will race it under the child’s name. To sponsor a child, visit www.sema.org/derby.

    The Pinewood Drag Race will be held 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. on August 1, 2009, at the Pasadena Convention Center. It will be followed by the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, where the 2009 SEMA Hall of Fame inductees will be announced.

    For questions about the Pinewood Drag Race and the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, contact Lisa Moreno at 909/396-0289, ext. 105 or lisam@sema.org.

  • California Assemblyman Mike Duvall is the new chairman of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus. The Caucus is supported by SEMA. Duvall succeeds New York Assemblyman Bill Reilich who served in that capacity for a two-year term beginning in 2007.

    The caucus is a bipartisan group of state lawmakers whose common thread is a love for automobiles. To date, almost 400 state legislators from all 50 states have joined the group. The caucus serves to raise the motor vehicle hobby’s profile in state legislatures across the country, and in the public's eyes. Many of these lawmakers seek to preserve and expand the hobby by improving existing motor-vehicle statutes and regulations.

    Mike Duvall represents the 72nd Assembly District in California. He was first elected to the Assembly in 2006 and reelected in 2008. Within a month of his arrival in Sacramento, Duvall was appointed to the Vice-Chairmanship of the powerful Assembly Transportation Committee, which is tasked with overseeing the many roadway, rail, air and port operations of the California Department of Transportation, Department of Motor Vehicles and the California Highway Patrol.

    In 2007, Duvall sponsored legislation in the Assembly to allow certified aftermarket and performance parts to be sold and installed on motorcycles. In recent years he has also used his committee position to oppose legislation to require annual emissions inspections of vehicles 15 years and older and new-vehicle surcharges based on carbon emissions.

    “From pre-World War II classics to street rods to '60s-era musclecars to late-model imports and everything in between, the automobile stands as a testimony to ingenuity and craftsmanship while serving as a source of recreation for tens of thousands of enthusiasts and collectors throughout the United States,” said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. “In his years of public service, Assemblymember Mike Duvall has a proven record of commitment to enabling this enthusiasm for years to come. We look forward to his leadership of the caucus.”

    Despite his busy legislative schedule, Duvall is the consummate car guy. He counts a '52 Ford F-1 pickup truck, '55 Ford Fairlane, '60 Ford Stakebed, '63 Chevrolet Corvette, '90 Chevrolet ZR1 Corvette, '93 Chevrolet Corvette and '03 Chevrolet Corvette among his prized personal collection.

    “I welcome the opportunity to serve as chairman of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership caucus,” Duvall said. “The past leaders of the caucus, Assemblymember Bill Reilich of New York and Senator John Brueggeman of Montana, have set the bar very high. I will work with them and other caucus members to ensure that the automotive hobby is kept alive and well for future generations.”

    “It is my goal to seek out other lawmakers to join us,” Duvall continued. “As a member of the California Assembly, I have been diligent in my efforts to work with fellow legislators to protect the interests of automobile enthusiasts in my state. Those that don't share our love of the automobile are often unaware of the unintended effects of many of the bills that are introduced each year. It is the role of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership caucus, especially its chairman, to teach and inform. I’m excited by that challenge.”

  • Kia Motors America is hosting a Measuring Session featuring the 2010 Soul.

  • SEMA Show Floor
    New value packages help exhibitors save money while avoiding any last-minute setup surprises.

    Need some good news during a bad economy? Here it is: Things will turn around. And until they do, the SEMA Show’s got your back with everything you need to keep your business strong until the economy makes a rebound—quality buyers, an enhanced new- product showcase, a matchmaking program that enables you to connect with buyers prior to the Show, thousands of leading media—all in one place.

    You might say the SEMA Show is like a pit stop for your business. And now more than ever, it’s time to refuel. Some of the value-added Show incentives that SEMA has prepared for this year include a collection of new turnkey exhibit package options. You’ll be able to seriously stretch your Show dollars with these new prices, discounted 30% off Freeman’s advance retail prices. The packages also eliminate the possibility of any last-minute surprises as they cover the exhibit, carpet, furniture, drayage allowance, electrical, cleaning, graphics and lights. Note: The Freeman exhibit value packages do not include the cost of exhibit space.

    View all exhibit package options for the package that meets your needs best and reserve your exhibit space today for the 2009 SEMA Show at www.SEMAShow.com/buyabooth.

    For details on the 2009 SEMA Show, visit www.SEMAShow.com.

    For additional information, contact ConvExx Show Management at 702/450-7662, ext. 120.

  • Source Interlink Companies Inc., one of the largest publishers of magazines and online content for enthusiast audiences and a leading distributor of DVDs, CDs, magazines, video games and books announced it has reached a restructured agreement with its lenders to eliminate approximately $1 billion dollars of existing debt and privatize the company. Under the agreement, the company’s lenders will cancel nearly $1 billion of the company’s existing debt and provide approximately $100 million in additional liquidity. Source Interlink, in agreement with its lenders, will pay all of its vendors in full and on time if they agree to maintain current credit and payment terms.

    To facilitate the restructuring, the company filed a lender-approved pre-packaged Plan of Reorganization under Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The company anticipates it will emerge within 35 days.

    Source Interlink Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Greg Mays said, “We couldn’t be more pleased. This restructuring will materially reduce our interest expense and debt levels, substantially improve free cash flow and allow us to capitalize on several operational opportunities to further improve and grow our business. Current management will remain in place, daily operations will continue as usual and our employees will continue to do what they do best—provide exceptional service to our customers. Importantly, all of our vendors will be paid in full for both pre-petition and ongoing charges according to our terms of trade. It’s business as usual at Source Interlink” Mays added.

    Source’s business partners support the restructuring as well. Bob Castardi, president of Curtis Circulation Company said, “The Curtis Circulation Company is very encouraged about being a valued trading partner. Source Interlink Companies’ reorganization will reduce any concerns going forward as to their financial stability. We at Curtis embrace the fact Source got out in front of this!” Michael Sullivan, CEO of CMG, a national distributor of Source stated, “When Source presented their reorganization plan in detail, we were very relieved to understand the huge debt write-off. This will allow CMG to move forward with new initiatives knowing that Source Interlink Companies will be in a very favorable financial position.” As a result of this agreement, Source Interlink has cancelled its investor call previously scheduled for May 1, 2009.

    For more information about the reorganization, go to www.sourceinterlink.com and click on the Reorganization Information tab.

  • Buyers at the Show
    “Nowhere else are buyers able to meet with so many manufacturers and
    talk with principal owners in one location and at one time,” said Peter
    MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of communications and events. “Since
    the SEMA Show first began in 1967, the Show has been the single best
    place to find what’s new and hot in the market.”

    With about six months before the SEMA Show, thousands of buyers in the automotive industry are already registered to attend the 2009 event, taking place Tuesday-Friday, November 3–6, in Las Vegas.

    Referred to by many as the premier automotive accessories trade show in the world, buyers from across the globe attend the annual event to find new products, identify the hottest trends and connect with others in the industry.

    Among the buyers already committed to attending this year’s event are key decision makers from Costco Wholesale, Big O Tires, Canadian Tire, NAPA Auto Parts, Pep Boys, Summit Racing Equipment and Wal-Mart.

    Other companies already registered to attend the 2009 SEMA Show can be found at www.SEMAShow.com. The website includes complete details about the trade-only event, including information about the various Show sections, special events and online registration.

    With several months left to go before the event takes place, organizers are anticipating a healthy turnout. To learn more about the SEMA Show and to register for the 2009 event, visit www.SEMAShow.com.

  • SEMA Continues to Promote Options to Short-Sighted Scrappage Program

    Key lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives announced a “Cash for Guzzlers” agreement that would pay consumers to scrap cars and trucks that get less than 18 miles per gallon in exchange for a cash voucher to buy a new car. The consumer would receive either $3,500 or $4,500 depending on the fuel economy improvement of the new vehicle. Legislation is expected to be introduced in the near future.

    SEMA expressed disappointment that lawmakers and the Administration had taken another step toward establishing a national vehicle scrappage program. Recognizing an urgent need to direct economic stimulus towards automakers and dealerships, SEMA has supported the concept of government–issued vouchers and other incentives to help consumers purchase new, fuel-efficient cars. With a program that includes scrapping cars and trucks, SEMA maintains Congress is taking the wrong approach.

    SEMA will continue to work with lawmakers to find ways to minimize the harm a motor vehicle scrappage program will needlessly impose on thousands of independent repair shops, auto restorers, customizers and their customers across the country. SEMA will promote instead a government incentive program that will help clean the environment, provide for vehicle and parts recycling, and preserve collector cars for future generations.

    The proposed program would last up to one year and could collect one million older cars and trucks. A scrapped vehicle must get less that 18 mpg (15 mpg for heavy pick-ups and vans). The car buyer will get a $3,500 voucher if they buy a new passenger car that is at least 4 mpg higher than the older vehicle, or a new pickup truck/SUV that is at least 2 mpg higher than the old truck. They will get $4,500 if the passenger car is at least 10 mpg higher and the truck/SUV is at least 5 mpg higher. The EPA “window sticker” defines mpg. For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at stuartg@sema.org.

  • SEMA Show Floor
    More than 1,100 companies have reserved space for the 2009 SEMA Show.

    Exhibit sales increased by more than 20% in one week as SEMA Show exhibitors contract for booth space before the pending space selection. More than 1,100 companies have reserved space for the 2009 SEMA Show.

    “Activity has been brisk as exhibitors rush to get their space reservations in before the May 8 deadline to participate in the space selection,” said SEMA Vice President of Communications and Events Peter MacGillivray. “And while we will be selling booth space right up to the day of the Show, it’s a good idea to do it now in order to participate in the online priority space selection,” he added.

    Each year SEMA Show management creates the preliminary floorplan based on the pre-ordered booth space. Exhibitors that are contracted and participate in the booth draw enjoy the advantage of being included in the initial floorplan rather than random placement after the fact.

    It’s not too late to reserve your booth space. The deadline is Friday, May 8. The Exhibit Space Rental Agreement is available here.

  • Bill Perry
    Bill Perry

    Bill Perry, Rolan “Jeep” Worthan and Henry “Smokey” Yunick will be inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame, an elite group of industry innovators who have played a key role in shaping the automotive specialty-equipment market.

    "The SEMA industry is built by hard-working men and women who share a deep passion and love for the automotive hobby," said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. "The SEMA Hall of Fame honors and pays tribute to those extraordinary individuals who have made a significant impact in advancing and growing the market."

    Since 1969, the SEMA Hall of Fame has paid homage to the leaders and innovators who have contributed to the health and success of the automotive specialty-equipment market. Honorees include businessmen, government officials, race-car drivers and entrepreneurs.

    "This year's inductees include three outstanding individuals," said Kersting. "When you learn about their histories and how they have impacted this industry, it's clear to see why they are being honored."

    Jeep Worthan
    Rolan “Jeep” Worthan

    Bill Perry: Perry was serving his third consecutive term as a SEMA Board member when he passed away earlier this year. Before opening his own rep agency in 1985, Perry worked at a jobber store selling parts. A member of several organizations, Bill Perry & Associates instantly became one of the industry’s most successful and respected agencies. His company has been honored with the SEMA Manufacturers’ Representative of the Year award, and Perry was the recipient of the 2008 MRC (Manufacturers’ Representatives Council) Hall of Fame award.

    Rolan “Jeep” Worthan: When Worthan joined Auto Meter in 1974, he worked in the sales department. However, as a long-time enthusiast and innovator, Worthan quickly moved to other areas of the business and soon found himself out on the race tracks developing new products for what is now a leading manufacturer of automotive performance instrumentations and gauges. Worthan continued to be an advocate for the industry and has served on the SEMA Board of Directors 16 years.

    Smokey Yunick
    Henry “Smokey” Yunick (middle) at the 1962 Daytona 500. —Photo Courtesy of General Motors

    Henry “Smokey” Yunick: Already a member of more than 30 Hall of Fames throughout the world, Yunick—who passed away in 2001—was a world-renowned mechanic, car designer and racer. By the end of his racing career, Yunick’s teams included 50 of the most famous drivers in the sport, winning 57 races and two Grand National championships. He also became a member of Chevrolet’s unofficial factory race team and headed NASCAR efforts for Ford and Pontiac. Much of the high-performance development of the Chevrolet small-block engine involved Yunick in design, testing—or both.

    The Hall of Fame inductees will be officially recognized at the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, Saturday, August 1, 2009, at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California. The event, which is part of SEMA’s Leadership Days program, includes dinner and includes the formal induction of the newly elected SEMA Board members. Tickets and details are available at www.sema.org/gala, or may be obtained from Lisa Moreno at lisam@sema.org, 909/396-0289, ext. 105.

  • Classic Corvettes. Vintage pickups. Tricked-out Hondas. These are just a few of the "rides" expected to cruise into the inaugural SEMA Old Town Car Show taking place inside the newly remodeled Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California, on Saturday, August 1, 2009. In all, more than 200 vehicles representing every facet of the car culture — from hot rods and musclecars to exotics and sport compacts — will come together to help children in need.

    “We hope this enthusiast car show will become the showcase event of the summer and grow each year so that we can raise more money for two deserving children’s charities,” said Mike Spagnola, chairman of the SEMA Old Town Car Show and president of Street Scene Equipment based in Costa Mesa, California. While SEMA is a trade association and the world-famous SEMA Show is a trade event that is not open to the general public, the SEMA car show is a unique event that is open to all enthusiasts.

    “Our emphasis is to support Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp,” Spagnola said, explaining that proceeds from the car show will benefit the two groups. Founded in 1959, Childhelp provides services to abused and neglected children, while the Victory Junction Gang Camp provides life-changing camping experiences to disabled and chronically ill children.

    “We’re asking all enthusiasts and the public to join us in our efforts,” continued Spagnola. “It will be a great event with an amazing collection of cars and trucks that really exemplify everything SEMA is about — design, passion and performance.”

    Trophies will be awarded for Best Engine, Best Interior, Best in Show and People’s Choice. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will have an opportunity to attend the trade-only SEMA Show in November, with free hotel accommodations in Las Vegas.

    For many in attendance, it will be an opportunity to enjoy the recently renovated state-of-the-art Pasadena Convention Center. Organizers say that the car show, located within walking distance of Old Town Pasadena and dozens of popular shops and restaurants, will be a great option for Southern California residents looking for something fun to do.

    The day will also include the 2nd annual SEMA Pinewood Drag Race, which last year helped raise more than $40,000 for these two children's charities. Presented by eBay Motors, the event will feature more than 250 cars in three classes (stock, modified and unlimited). Participants will be able to sponsor a child’s car, thereby serving as team owner and racing it under the child’s name.

    The cost to enter a vehicle into the car show is $75 per vehicle, and the cost to attend is $5 for adults, with kids 10 and under free. Registration fees for the Pinewood Drag Race range from $125–$200, depending on the vehicle class. Money raised from all activities benefit Childhelp and the Victory Junction Gang Camp.

    Vehicle applications are available online at www.sema.org/carshow. Tickets to attend the car show will be available at the door on the day of the event. Registration for the Pinewood Drag Races is available at www.sema.org/derby.

    Both the car show and the Pinewood Drag Race are part of the SEMA Leadership Days, which includes the association’s annual Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser held that evening. The event pays tribute to the 2009 Hall of Fame inductees and honors newly elected and outgoing members of the SEMA Board of Directors. Complete details about the gala are available at www.sema.org/gala.

  •   BoothSelection
      "The SEMA Show is the best place for manufacturers to promote their new products and connect with buyers,” said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of communications.

    Exhibitors who want to take part in the 2009 SEMA Show priority space selection process have until May 8, 2009 to submit their exhibit space rental agreements. The deadline, which is typically in early April, was set a month later than previous years to give exhibitors additional time to plan for the Show known to many as the premier automotive accessories trade event in the world.

    “The SEMA Show is the best place for manufacturers to promote their new products and connect with buyers,” said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of communications. “It very well may be the best investment manufacturers can make in terms of what they get out of it and the value they receive.”

    Committed to ensuring exhibitor success at the 2009 event, organizers launched an unprecedented number of new programs and promotions, such as moving the exhibit contract deadline back one month. Other programs include increasing the number of quality buyers at the Show through outbound phone calls, negotiating rock-bottom room rates at hotels throughout Las Vegas and enhancing the electronic matchmaking program that enables buyers and sellers to connect with one another efficiently and effectively.

    Manufacturers interested in learning more about exhibiting at the 2009 SEMA Show should contact ConvExx Show Management at sema-exhibit@convexx.com or 702/450-7662, ext. 120. Details about the SEMA Show and an online exhibit space rental agreement form can be found at www.SEMAShow.com.

Business Tools

  • Panel at Race Goes Green Conference
    From left, Chris Aylett, CEO, MIA; Chris Kersting, President and CEO, SEMA; Blake Fuller, Founder, Braille Battery; and Azhar Hussain, Founder, TTxGP discuss green business opportunities in the performance aftermarket during the recent The Race Goes Green conference in Long Beach, California.

    Troy Lee Designs uses water-based paints to create hip motorcycle helmets. It uses recycled paper and rubber products. But Troy Lee wants to push the envelope more on greenness, just as he does with his designs. Both are good for business, he says.

    “SEMA is all about being cool,” says Lee. “Being green will be a competitive edge.”

    Lee was a panelist at “The Race Goes Green,” an April 16th conference presented by SEMA and the Motorsports Industry Association (MIA). The venue was the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach; the message was that green power and horsepower can coexist, and that there is opportunity for companies that can make green cool.

    SEMA members need to start looking for products that pair performance and green if they want to be ready for the future, says John Waraniak, SEMA vice president of vehicle techology. “If you wait for everything to be figured out you will almost be too late.”

    To be sure, environmental awareness doesn’t yet play a huge role in the enhanced performance equation. But technology is advancing in “big chunks,” SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting told the attendees at the conference. “People need to be looking down the road.”

    SEMA member Blake Fuller is already making green pay. His profitable company, Braille Battery, sells the world’s first carbon–fiber battery and uses recycled lead, plastic and stainless steel in its products. Most of Braille Battery’s growth has occurred in the last two years, says Fuller. He projects sales will double in 2009 compared to 2008 to $2 million.

    Fuller knows green technology doesn’t sell in the performance world, however. Winning does. “The fact that technology wins will pull in young audiences,” he says. “The fact that it is green will be a byproduct.”

    Braille teamed up with Nissan on the Nissan Altima Hot Rod Hybrid, which won its class at the Florida Electric Auto Association’s Beach Battery Burnout on February 21 and 22. “You have to go to where the competition is hardest for cutting–edge technology,” says Fuller.

    The market for performance-enhancing green technology is potentially huge, says Waraniak. Some 40 million new drivers will hit the roads over the next 10 years. Many will buy alternative–fuel vehicles and want to trick them out, he says. An even bigger opportunity lies in the 225 million existing vehicles, says Waraniak. Those can be retrofitted with cool green technology.

    Tricking out new and existing cars to be both green and cool is a small but growing part of his business, says Beau Boeckman, president of Galpin Auto Sports (GAS) LLC. SEMA member A123 System’s aftermarket division Hymotion provides lithium-ion batteries to GAS for Toyota Prius sedans, hot rods and musclecars, for example.

    But faster growth will depend on more companies coming out with products that aren’t just green and cool, but are also affordable and beneficial, says Boeckman. “If it’s green and it actually performs well, that is what is going to sell,” he says.

    The motorsports industry can help. Race technology migrates to cars, says Waraniak, and green racing “absolutely helps advance the green cause. It can make it hipper and make it more affordable.”

    Says Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNation Inc., the largest dealership group in the United States: “Racing is a platform that can play an incredible role in educating people that you can be green and still have performance.

    Motorcycle racing is doing its part to prove green and speed can co-exist. Azhar Hussain is the founder of TTXGP Ltd., a zero carbon–emissions motorcycle race. Twenty–four teams are signed up for the race, which will be held on June 12 on the challenging Isle of Man Mountain Course in the United Kingdom. The bikes are powered by electric drivetrains. Hussain wants to take the technology into cars. “We think we can take on the combustion engine in five years,” he says.

    Much of the technology on the bikes doesn’t come from U.S. companies who “aren’t focused on this area,” says Hussain. Batteries are from Korea and Taiwan; the control system is from China; the motors India. It could be an opportunity for U.S. firms.

    But don’t forget the cool factor. Advises Jay Stemka, head of custom paint at Troy Lee: “Make it look really good, make it fast, and there will be buyers.”

    —By Alysha Webb

  •   ChuckSchwartzwebinarpush
      Maintain a buzz around your booth by following the tips outlined by ConvExx Chairman Chuck Schwartz.
       

    Turn your SEMA Show booth into the investment of a lifetime by attending the “SEMA Show 2009: Recession Beating Strategies for a Successful Show” webinar, presented by ConvExx Chairman Chuck Schwartz, on Thursday, June 11, 2009, from 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. (PDT)

    Schwartz will walk you through the steps to enhance your bottom line and improve your business by exhibiting at the 2009 SEMA Show. In his presentation, Schwartz will identify the best ways to prepare for the Show, guaranteed methods to boost return on investment and why your company cannot afford to miss the SEMA Show.

    “Chuck will deliver information in this webinar that will benefit veteran as well as first-time SEMA Show exhibitors,” said Gary Vigil, SEMA trade shows director. “He will also discuss several new exciting cost-saving opportunities and free marketing programs that will help all exhibitors to maximize the value of their SEMA Show participation.”

    The SEMA webinar program seeks to educate representatives of the association’s member companies about the many ways they can improve their business and increase profits. For more information on the SEMA Webinar Program and to view a list of all upcoming SEMA webinars, go to www.sema.org/webinars.

  • Recent updates to the Black Book, including formatting for online use, were designed to further simplify the overall process of emissions compliance.

  • AutoTrader Classics Publishing interview highlights the world of classic and collectible vehicles.

  • Nissan Project Vehicle

    SEMA Show exhibitors: Generate more buzz for your company and its products at the 2009 SEMA Show by offering products to builders through the SEMA Products for Project-Vehicle Builders list. Beginning now up until days before the annual Show, the latest additions to this list are made available through SEMA eNews, and the list is accessed by hundreds of builders looking for the pieces that add extra flair to their builds. Product placement opportunities such as this are so beneficial that many exhibitors offer products for free or at a greatly reduced rate.

    To place your product on the list, send your company name, a brief product description, contact information and a website where the products can be viewed to eNews@sema.org and put “Product List” in the e-mail subject line. Remember, builders will contact you directly, so make sure your contact information is accurate. New submissions will be included every week.

    Here are the products being offered for this week:

    Engine/Underhood Components

    K&N Engineering Inc.: Intake systems, air filters and oil filters. Contact: Lucio Tapia, e-mail: luciot@knfilters.com; 951/826-4000, ext. 4350. Website: www.knfilters.com.

    Exterior Components/Accessories

    Au-TOMOTIVE GOLD INC.: Mirrored logo license plates, license plate frames and hitch covers. Plates and frames will include the vehicle logos or names in mirrored chrome, 23k gold or black powdercoat finishes. Contact: Ted Walton, tedw@autogold.com; 800/358-7843; 520/882-4730 (fax). Website: www.autogold.com.

    Bedslide: Product for trucks, vans and trailers. Contact: David McInturf, 888/807-0099 (toll free); 541/842-2771 (direct). Website: www.bedslide.com.

    Surco Products Inc.: Off-road racks, luggage racks, bike racks, removable deck racks and many more items for the SUV, recreation and off-road market. Contact: Osnat Surkin, 310/ 323-2520. Website: www.surcoinc.com.

    Superwinch: Winches—Superwinch Rock 95 Competition Rock Crawling Winch; Superwinch EPi9.0S Synthetic Rope Winch. Contact: Zach Bohn, zbohn@superwinch.com.

New Products and Technology

  • SEMA’s Business Technology Committee (BTC) has completed Phase II of its Data Pool Pilot Program, which involves SEMA manufacturers and their warehouse distributor trading partners. The findings confirm that non-standardized and vital missing product data between suppliers and distributors results in lost sales opportunities, ordering delays, excess inventory and expensive order-processing errors.

    In Phase II of the three-part program, SEMA obtained data requirements from key industry warehouse distributors, mail–order companies and retail data receivers. These companies identified their most important trading partners, who were then invited to participate in an expanded data cleansing, standardization and synchronization project. As a result, product data from all 19 participating suppliers was cleansed and synchronized with their receivers. In the end, SEMA was able to sync up five distributors with 19 of their validated product lines, for a total of 46 alignments. White papers summarizing Phase I and Phase II of the SEMA Data Pool Pilot Program have been published at www.sema.org/btc.

    “These Phase II findings make it clear to these SEMA industry participants that even small gains in efficiency can translate into substantial savings and increased sales,” said Alan Dicker, SEMA’s director of business technology. “We are confident there will be substantially greater benefits for the entire marketplace once most supply–chain participants begin trading standardized product information.”

    The SEMA Data Pool Pilot Program was created in August 2006 to jumpstart the process of sharing data between a group of SEMA manufacturers and their warehouse distributor trading partners by helping them gather their data to make it standards-compliant. The program’s overall goal is to create a standardized industry data pool by facilitating the validation and synchronization of the data files used by small, medium and large manufacturers and distributors. Studies in other specialty-equipment segments had shown that incomplete, non-standardized and unsynchronized data resulted in excess costs of 1.7% of sales.

    Among other Phase II key findings:

    • Data requirements were acquired and compared from five of the top warehouse distributors and retailers in the industry and a set of required product data fields was developed
    • The product information from 19 of the largest manufacturers in the industry was validated to the PIES standard
    • 46 instances of complete product information synchronization between suppliers and distributors were accomplished
    • A number of necessary changes to the standards have been identified and suggested to the standards body

    Benefits from the Phase II process

    For Manufacturers:

    • Manufacturers are now able to convey information for thousands of products previously unknown to their warehouse distributor trading partners, resulting in a greater opportunity for increased sales
    • Invoice reconciliation time will be reduced as a result of synchronization
    • Accurate recommended jobber pricing increases customer satisfaction
    • The single Product Information Exchange Standards (PIES) eliminates the need for multiple output formats. In many cases these manufacturers have created a product data file that can be shipped at a moment's notice to other trading partners.
    • New products can be introduced to the market in a fraction of the time used in past practice.

    For Distributors and Retailers:

    • Discovered thousands of parts in their systems that don't actually exist, reducing confusion internally and increasing customer satisfaction
    • Invoice reconciliation time will be reduced as a result of synchronization
    • Discovered thousands of parts that they hadn't previously known existed, resulting in an opportunity for increased sales.

    To learn more about the SEMA Business Technology Committee and to find a White Paper with all the details about the study, visit www.sema.org/btc.

  • Porsche 911 Front

    Brenda Priddy's spy shooter network caught the 2011 Porsche 911 cabriolet (dubbed the "998" internally, Priddy says) turning laps at the Nurburgring. Priddy says that some early media reports pegged this as the next 911 Turbo, but these pictures suggest otherwise.

    "You can see that the side air intake in front of the rear wheels are fake, as is the huger rear wing which hides the shape of the smaller, standard 911 spoilers," she explains.

    Compared to the current model, the front lights stand more upright and the side mirrors have moved from the side window corner to the side of the door. The rear lights are also temporary, she says. The next-gen 911 will feature the same flat-six engine as its predecessor—with a likely power surge—as well as the new PDK dual-clutch gearbox.

    Porsche 911 Side   Photos copyright Brenda Priddy & Company. Reuse or reproduction without copyright holder's consent is prohibited.

Law & Order

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has temporarily expanded the size requirements for SBA-backed 7(a) loans in order to help insert more liquidity into the marketplace. The SBA estimates that more than 70,000 small businesses across the country will be eligible for new loans between now and the time the program ends on September 30, 2010, including many auto-sector businesses.

    The temporary loan size standard will allow businesses to qualify based on net worth and average income (rather than by the number of employees). The net worth for the company and its affiliates cannot be in excess of $8.5 million and average net income after federal income taxes (excluding any carry-over losses) for the preceding two completed fiscal years cannot be more than $3 million.

    The 7(a) program is the SBA’s most popular loan program. The volume of newly approved 7(a) loans sold on the secondary market has increased dramatically in recent months as a result of two other rule changes in March, a temporary reduction in fees charged to borrowers along with an increase in the maximum federal guarantee, from 85% to 90%.

    For more information about the SBA’s 7(a) loan program, visit http://www.sba.gov/services/financialassistance/sbaloantopics/7a. For additional information, contact Stuart Gosswein at stuartg@sema.org.

  • After years of debate, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has revised the vehicle roof strength rule, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 216. The new standard will require manufacturers to design vehicle roofs that withstand at least three times the weight of a light-duty vehicle (up to 6,000 lbs.) during a two-sided roof strength test. The current standard, which had remained unchanged since 1971, requires the roof to support at least 1.5 times the vehicle weight when tested on one side only.

    The tests are conducted by pressing a metal plate down on the roof over the driver’s seat, then the passenger’s seat. The NHTSA will continue to rely on static tests rather than include a dynamic test to simulate a vehicle rollover.

    For the first time, the NHTSA will also apply the rule to heavier vehicles weighing between 6,000 and 10,000 lbs. In this instance, the driver’s and passenger’s side must withstand 1.5 times the weight of the vehicle.

    The requirements will be phased in over a four-year period between September 2012 and September 2016. The NHTSA estimates that compliance with the upgraded roof strength standard will increase lifetime consumer costs by $69 to $114 per vehicle.

    During the rulemaking process, SEMA cautioned the NHTSA that a tougher standard must still accommodate installation of specialty-equipment sunroofs and other products that interact with the roof. The NHTSA responded that vehicles with sunroofs had been tested under the new requirements and passed and that the agency did not foresee any problems with specialty-equipment installations. For additional information, contact Stuart Gosswein at stuartg@sema.org.

Global Update

  • All importers—from those bringing in one container a year to those importing products weekly—are equally liable under a new rule issued by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP), which took effect January 26, 2009. The Importer Security Filing (ISF), more commonly referred to as the "10+2" initiative (because it requires importers to supply 10 pieces of data and shipping companies another two items), marks the first time importers are required to communicate with the CBP regarding incoming shipments and are held liable for failure to do so. Penalties for incomplete or non-compliance are steep, at $5,000 per incident, as well as possible no-load orders. The CBP is delaying enforcement for one year in order to allow companies time to implement compliant systems.

    Even with the delay in penalties, the CBP has provided itself with the legal wiggle room to impose them sooner based on "lack of effort" on the part of importers. SEMA will be organizing an informational session to provide members details on these new reporting requirements. To participate in the meeting or for general information on the 10+2 initiative, contact Linda Spencer at lindas@sema.org.

  • SEMA has produced two informal guides on how to determine the tariff rates for products imported into the United States as well as exported to key overseas markets. The guide reviews the various online, free government databases to properly categorize products and look-up tariff rate tools. These documents also provide a list of additional useful websites and governmental and non-governmental resources.

    Download a copy of the export-oriented guide.

    Download the document to determine the tariff rates for products imported into the United States.

    Questions? Contact Stacie Hering.

     

People, Places, & Racing News


  • Click on the logo to visit ARMO's website.

    Six Seats Open for ARMO Select Committee

    Elections for a seat on the ARMO Select Committee will take place the week of May 18, 2009.

    ARMO member companies should expect to receive candidate campaign materials in the mail shortly. Each ARMO member company is asked to review and consider their choices carefully.

    We congratulate the following nominees for making the slate:

    Cliff Carr – Parts Unlimited Inc. (PUI)
    Jim Christina – Dynacorn International Inc.
    Eric DeTaeye – Legendary Auto Interiors
    Jonathan Klinger – Hagerty Insurance
    Bob Lichty – Motorcar Portfolio LLC
    Roger Niehaus – Auto Custom Carpets – Incumbent
    Sandy Patterson – Source Interlink Media – Incumbent
    Lenny Schaeffer – Chop Shop Customs
    Jim Vinarski – Carlisle Productions – Incumbent
    Harry Weimann – WyoTech
    Jeff YagerHemmings Motor News

    ARMO Industry Awards Reception


    5:30 p.m.7:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 3, during SEMA Show week at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas.

     

    ARMO Open Council Meeting


    7:15 a.m.9:00 a.m., Wednesday, November 4, during SEMA Show week at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas.

    ARMO Roundtable

    7:15 a.m.9:00 a.m., Thursday, November 5, during SEMA Show week at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas.

    Column in SEMA Member News

    Read ARMO's column featured in the May/June issue of SEMA Member News.

     


     


    Click on the logo to visit HRIA's website.

    Six Seats Open for HRIA Select Committee

    Elections for a seat on the HRIA Select Committee will take place the week of May 18, 2009. HRIA member companies should expect to receive candidate campaign materials in the mail shortly. Each HRIA member company is asked to review and consider their choices carefully.

    We congratulate the following nominees for making the slate:

    Del Austin Street Thunder – Incumbent
    S. Kellie Colf – Eaton Detroit Spring – Incumbent
    Douglas Frymer – Law Office of Douglas A. Frymer
    Ray Gorman – Stainless Steel Brakes Corp.
    Michael Kunzman – Michael Kunzman & Associates
    Bob Millard – Championship Auto Show/ISCA
    Eric Saltrick – Steele Rubber Products – Incumbent
    Vince Sica – Power Master (MCI Inc.)
    Bret Voelkel – Air Ride Technologies

    The willingness of these candidates to volunteer their time to give back to the 300+ HRIA member companies is welcomed. The ability to take off company and personal hats to work for the good of entire HRIA membership and not for personal gain is one of the most honorable traits a Select Committee member holds. We are pleased to have their interest, dedication and support in this unique alliance.

    Each HRIA company will be asked to vote for six of these exceptional dedicated individuals. We wish all candidates well with their election campaign.

    Questions regarding HRIA council elections can be directed to the chairman of the nominations/elections committee, Dennis Overholser at 817/244-6212 x1008 or Council Relations Director Jan Desma at 909/396-0289 x134 or jand@sema.org.

    HRIA Industry Awards Reception

    5:15 p.m.8:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 4, during SEMA Show week at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas.

    HRIA Closed Select Committee Meeting

     

    7:30 a.m.9:00 a.m., Thursday, November 5, during SEMA Show week at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas.

    HRIA Column in SEMA Member News

     

    Read HRIA's column featured in the May/June issue of SEMA Member News.

     

    For more information about HRIA, contact Jan Desma at jand@sema.org.

     



    Click on the logo to visit LTAA's website.

    LTAA Long-Range Planning Meeting Moves to Pasadena

    LTAA members can pack plenty of activity around this year’s annual Long-Range Planning (LRP) Meeting. Scheduled for Thursday, July 30, at the Westin Hotel in Pasadena, California from 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., the meeting is being held in conjunction with the annual SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser at the Pasadena Convention Center on Saturday, August 1. The SEMA Pinewood Drag Race and a car show are also on tap for that day.

    Sandwiched between the Thursday LRP meeting and Saturday’s SEMA festivities at the Convention Center, Friday is available for attendees to see West Coast clients or spend a free day in Old Town Pasadena. Old Town is filled with an eclectic mix of shops, stores and restaurants that easily make a full day of sightseeing within walking distance of the Westin and Convention Center.

    “This is a tough year for everyone,” said LTAA Chairman Ron DiVincenzo. “A West Coast trip may not make sense on the surface, but we wanted to hold the meeting in conjunction with some other event so that members could combine two trips into one. With the postponement of the TSTC in March, the only other big event coming up is the SEMA Show in November.

     

    "At the SEMA Show, everyone is already overwhelmed, and it’s really not a good venue at which to conduct long-range planning. While this may keep some of our East Coast and Midwest companies from attending, on a positive note we’re hoping that some of the West Coast members, who rarely come east for an LRP, can attend this year’s meeting.”

    Please contact LTAA Staff Liaison Jim Skelly at jimsk@sema.org for more information.

    LTAA Closed Select Committee Meeting

    7:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m., Wednesday, November 4, during SEMA Show week at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas.

    LTAA Industry Reception

    5:30 p.m.7:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 4, during SEMA Show week at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas.


    George Lathouris Named LTAA Chair-Elect

    The LTAA Select Committee has named Keystone’s George Lathouris as its chair-elect. Lathouris will assume his new responsibilities on July 1, when Kelly Kneifl assumes the duties of chairman from current Chairman Ron DiVincenzo. Congratulations to George!

     

    LTAA Column in SEMA Member News

     

    Read LTAA's column featured in the May/June issue of SEMA Member News.

     

    For more information about LTAA, contact Jim Skelly at jimsk@sema.org.



    Click on the logo to visit MPMC's website.

    MPMC Column in SEMA Member News

    Read MPMC's column featured in the May/June issue of SEMA Member News.

     

    For information about MPMC, contact Jim Skelly at jimsk@sema.org.

     



    Click on the logo to visit MRC's website.
    Seven Seats Open for MRC Select Committee

    Elections for a seat on the MRC Select Committee will take place the week of May 25, 2009. This year, ballots will be sent out electronically to each MRC member company. Each MRC member company is asked to review and consider their choices carefully.

    We congratulate the following nominees for making the MRC slate:

    Mark Adin – PSKB
    Alan Adlam – J.K. Sales
    Mike Bolio – Scafidi-Bolio & Associates – Incumbent
    Irv Cohen – SS Sales & Marketing – Incumbent
    Jim Considine – Considine Sales & Marketing
    Bill Eagan – Airheart Sales
    Chris Fairless – R & R Marketing Incumbent
    Derrick Johnstone – Alliance Sales West
    Nathan Kunzman – Michael Kunzman & Associates
    Scott Majors – MBA Marketing Group – Incumbent
    Jim Morehouse – All Midwest Sales
    Chris Perry – Bill Perry & Associates

    Each MRC company will be asked to vote for seven of these exceptional dedicated individuals. We wish all candidates well with their election campaign. Questions regarding MRC council elections can be directed to SEMA Council Relations Coordinator Staci Bostock at stacib@sema.org or 909/396-0289 x104.

    MRC General Membership Meeting and Awards Ceremony

    MRC will be holding its membership meeting and awards ceremony on Sunday, November 1, from 4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. during SEMA Show week at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas.

    Manufacturers Seeking Rep List Now Available

    Manufacturers’ representatives are encouraged to contact Staci Bostock at stacib@sema.org to request the Manufacturers Seeking Rep List, which is available at no cost. Compiled using information collected from manufacturers prior to the 2008 SEMA Show, the listing contains details on manufacturers currently seeking the services of manufacturers’ representatives along with the lines available and company contact information. The list was originally available in the MRC Rep Center during the week of the 2008 SEMA Show.

    MRC Column in SEMA Member News

     

    Read MRC's column featured in the May/June issue of SEMA Member News.

     

    For information about MRC, contact Staci Bostock at stacib@sema.org.

     



    Click on the logo to visit PRO's website.

     

    PRO Long-Range Planning Meeting

    The annual PRO Long-Range Planning Meeting is slated for Thursday and Friday, June 18–19, in Detroit. The Crown Plaza Hotel, minutes from the Detroit Metro Airport, will once again host the event and is offering a blocked-out room rate of only $115 for meeting attendees. Lunch is included both days, with a continental breakfast also included on Friday morning.

    The Long-Range Planning Meeting begins at 11:00 a.m. Thursday morning, continues through lunch and then moves into breakout groups in the afternoon. The breakout groups continue on Friday. Everyone will reconvene mid-morning on Friday for breakout reports and a box lunch before adjourning at 1:00 p.m., in time for those early afternoon flights back home.

    There is no better opportunity to share ideas and plan for solutions than at the PRO Long-Range Planning Meeting. Official meeting notices will go out shortly with more details. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Jim Skelly at jimsk@sema.org.


    PRO Closed Select Committee Meeting


    3:00 p.m.5:00 p.m., Sunday, November 1, during SEMA Show week at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas.

    PRO Industry Reception


    5:30 p.m.7:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 3, during SEMA Show week at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas.


    PRO General Membership Meeting

    7:30 a.m.9:00 a.m., Thursday, November 5, during SEMA Show week at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas.


    PRO Business Development Guidebook Now On Sale

     

    In today’s ever-changing marketplace, staying ahead of the competition is more important and challenging than ever. To be successful, you not only need an effective business strategy, but also the tools and resources to help your company excel and stand out from the pack. The PRO Business Development Guidebook is your handy reference guide.

     

    Beginning with an overview of the importance of having a business plan—including tips on how to develop a business plan and the many purposes it can serve—the manual offers chapter-by-chapter strategies for making your business a success.

     

    From understanding the basics of business finance and the importance of quality and service and how to make them hallmarks of your business, to building knowledge and skills among your employees to branding your restyling business as a market leader, the guidebook offers information critical to the day-to-day and long-term operation of your business.

     

    Whether you’re starting your own restyling business or already own one—be it mobile or brick and mortar—you’ll find the answers that you’ve been looking for in the guidebook. PRO council members contributed much of the information contained in the guidebook, drawing on their experience and knowledge to present a valuable business tool.

     

    To order the PRO Business Development Guidebook, contact Jim Skelly at jimsk@sema.org.

     

    PRO Column in SEMA Member News

     

    Read PRO's column featured in the May/June issue of SEMA Member News.

     

    For information about PRO, contact Jim Skelly at jimsk@sema.org.

     


     


    Click on the logo to visit SPC's website.

     

    SPC Announces Select Committee Candidates

    Ballots are scheduled to be sent out electronically May 15.

    We congratulate the following nominees for making the slate:

    Steve Bolio – Scafidi-Bolio & Associates
    Ed Burgy – McCullough Public Relations – Incumbent
    Jack Cummings – Endeavors
    Laurel Dasher – Superchips Inc.
    Baadal “Bottle” Deliwala – Titan Motorsports Inc.
    Doug Dwyer – Schiefer Media Inc.
    Chris Dye – Club RSX Inc.
    Regis Finn – B & M Racing & Performance Products Inc.
    Gigi Ho – Digital Performance Inc.
    Jim Liaw – Formula Drift Inc. – Incumbent
    Mike Lovro – Auto Meter Products Inc.
    Nikolas Malechikos – Redline Track Events LLC
    Todd Miller – Wellman Products Group
    Oliver Rathlein – Eibach Springs Inc. – Incumbent
    Albert Reda – Vibrant Power Inc. – Incumbent
    Brian Reese – Competition Cams Inc. – Incumbent
    Malen Reger – Motovicity Distribution – Incumbent
    MK Sathya – Keystone Automotive Operations Inc.
    Jeff Stacy – Fragola Performance Systems
    James Yim – Falken Tire Corp. – Incumbent

    Webinar Sponsored by the Street Performance Council

    The SPC is sponsoring the “Protecting Your Products With Contracts: Contract Law 101” webinar, presented by Elizabeth McNulty, Dan Rodman and Josie Mollica, Snell & Wilmer, LLP, on Thursday, May 7, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. PDT.

    SPC Reception

    5:00 p.m.7:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 4, during SEMA Show week at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas.

    SPC Column in SEMA Member News

    Read SPC's column featured in the May/June issue of SEMA Member News.

     

    For information about SPC, contact Paul Moritz at paulm@sema.org.



     


    Click on the logo to visit SBN's website.

     

    10 Seats Open for SBN Select Committee

    Elections for a seat on the SBN Select Committee will take place the week of May 18, 2009.

     

    Seven of the seats will be for a two-year term and three of the seats will be for a one-year term.

    Individual SBN members should expect to receive candidate campaign materials in the mail shortly.

    Each SBN member is asked to review and consider their choices carefully.

    We congratulate the following nominees for making the slate:

    Vicki Archila – R & R Marketing Consultants
    Nan Kevin Gelhard – Summit Racing Equipment
    Erin Gilhuly – Toyota Motor Sales
    Jessica Grindle – Advanstar Communications
    Cheralyn Hale – Advanced Clutch Technology
    Julie Helms – Edgenet Inc. (Big Hammer)
    Gigi Ho – Digital Performance Inc.
    Anne Johnson – Keystone Automotive Operations
    Melissa Lawrence – Power TV Media – Incumbent
    Nancy Loetfering – Davert Tools Inc. – Incumbent
    Laurie Marcellus – Trans American Auto Parts LLC Off Road Adventures

    Cathi J. Robbe – Colorado State University
    Trina Wilson – Dci – Incumbent
    Mandi Woodell – Weathers Auto Supply

    The willingness of these candidates to volunteer their time and give back to the 270+ SBN members and SEMA member companies is welcomed. The ability to take off company and personal hats to work for the good of our membership and not for personal gain is one of the most honorable traits a Select Committee member holds. We are pleased to have their interest, dedication and support in this unique network of members.

    Each SBN individual member will be asked to vote for 10 of these exceptional dedicated individuals. We wish all candidates well with their campaign efforts.

    Questions regarding SBN committee elections can be directed to the chairman of the nominations/elections committee, Tammy Holland at 901/375-3451 or Council Relations Director Jan Desma at 909/396-0289 x134 or email jand@sema.org.

     

    SBN Closed Select Committee Meeting

    5:00 p.m.7:00 p.m., Monday, November 2, during SEMA Show week at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas.

    SEMA Networking Breakfast Powered by SBN

    7:30 a.m.9:00 a.m., Thursday, November 5, during SEMA Show week at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas.

     

    Discover the SEMA Mentoring Program—Powered by the SBN

     

    “I’ll get by with a little help from my friends…” - Joe Cocker

    Everyone needs help or expert advice from time to time, and SEMA’s Mentoring Program is an excellent resource to get answers to all your questions. Whether you need to know more about SEMA, market information for a start-up company or advice on how to approach your boss about a new position, the SEMA Mentoring Program can help.

    “Ask A Mentor” is perfect for one-time questions. You can expect multiple SEMA mentors to provide online guidance and answers to your industry-related questions.

    Short-term Assistance/Guidance is for help with a specific project or task. A SEMA council/committee mentor with the expertise you seek will be paired up with you to provide guidance with your project.

    Long-term Relationship is helpful for developing your professional career. In this program segment you will be paired with a SEMA council/committee mentor who will provide guidance and assistance for ongoing career development or a long-term project.

    So whether you just need an answer to a question or you want to cultivate a mentoring friendship, the SEMA Mentoring Program—Powered by the SBN is available to help. After all, we can all use a little help from our friends.

     

    Visit the SEMA Mentoring Program now.

     

    SBN Column in SEMA Member News

    Read SBN's column featured in the May/June issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about SBN, contact Jan Desma at jand@sema.org.


     


    Click on the logo to visit WTC's website.

     

    WTC Announces Select Committee Candidates

    Ballots are scheduled to be sent out electronically May 15.

    We congratulate the following nominees for making the slate:

    Keith Alinder – Wheel Pros Inc. – Incumbent
    Jack Daly – J.D. Companies Motive Solutions LLC
    Joe Findeis – Wheel Consultants
    Doug Frymer – Law Office of Douglas A. Frymer – Incumbent
    Russ Fuller – Revolution Supply Co. Inc.
    Fenton Liffick – Prestige Autotech Corporation – Incumbent
    Carl Mercincavage – Keystone Automotive Operations Inc.
    Gautam Pathak – Dealer Tire
    Dean Pellegrino – Tru Align LLC – Incumbent
    Mark Plumer – Mark Plumer Consulting
    Marc Pugh – Ultra Wheel Company
    Joe Schaefer – Konig Motoring Accessories
    Brock Weld – BMF Wheels Inc. – Incumbent

    WTC Long-Range Planning Meeting

    Attend the WTC Long-Range Planning Meeting and help shape the course of the council’s agenda. It’s time to voice your opinion.

    The meeting will be held on Thursday, May 14, 2009, from 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. at:

     

    SEMA Headquarters
    AAA Building—Second Floor
    1577 South Valley Vista Dr.
    Diamond Bar, CA 91765

     

    RSVP by Friday, May 8, 2009 to Paul Moritz at paulm@sema.org.

     

    Can’t
    make it to the meeting in person? Participate on the Internet! For more
    information on how to participate on the Internet, contact Paul Moritz
    at 909/396-0289, ext 112, or paulm@sema.org.

     

    WTC Open Meeting

     

    2:00 p.m.4:00 p.m., Monday, November 2, during SEMA Show week at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas.

     

    WTC Reception


    5:00 p.m.7:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 4, during SEMA Show week at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas.


    WTC Column in SEMA Member News

     

    Read WTC's column featured in the May/June issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about WTC, contact Paul Moritz at paulm@sema.org.

     


     


    Click on the logo to visit YEN's website.

     

    YEN Announces Select Committee Candidates

    Ballots are scheduled to be sent out electronically May 22.

    We congratulate the following nominees for making the slate:

    Mike Bolio – Scafidi-Bolio & Associates – Incumbent
    Kris Carlson – Auto Meter Products Inc.
    Ashley Chalk – Auto Club Speedway of Southern California – Incumbent
    Casey Coker – Coker Tire Co. Inc. – Incumbent
    S. Kellie Colf – Eaton Detroit Spring Inc. – Incumbent
    Dan Dolan – DiabloSport Inc.
    Ron Ezzell Jr. – Custom Logistics Inc.
    Jason Fink – Advantage Truck Accessories Inc.
    Kevin German – Ground Force Suspension
    Chris Gramelspacher – Meyer Distributing
    Eddie Hamilton – Bob Cook Sales
    Bennett Jackson – Winfield Consumer Products Inc.
    Derrick Johnstone – Alliance Sales

    Nathan Kunzman – Michael A. Kunzman & Associates
    James Lawrence – Power TV Media
    L.J. Lobsinger – Specialty Auto Parts USA Inc.
    Trey Owen – Earl Owen Co. Inc.
    Josh Pendolphia – KAM Marketing Inc.
    Cary Redman – Prestolite Performance/Mr. Gasket
    Robert Wityczak – Grant Products International Inc. – Incumbent

    YEN Select Committee Meeting


    3:00 p.m.6:00 p.m., Sunday, November 1, during SEMA Show week at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas.

    YEN Reception

     

    5:00 p.m.7:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 3, during SEMA Show week at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas.

     

    Congratulations to Gregory Parker!

     

    Gregory Parker from Martin & Company Advertising has been elected chair-elect of the Young Executives Network (YEN). Parker has served on the YEN Select Committee since 2005 and has been chairman of the SEMA Silent Auction Task Force.

    Join YEN

    Did you know that the SEMA Young Executives Network has more than 500 members networking in the industry and is the largest SEMA committee? If you are employed by a SEMA-member company and are under the age of 39, then you can join the SEMA Young Executives Network for FREE. If you are interested in becoming part of the team, please visit our website at www.sema.org/yen.

     

    YEN Member of the Month Spotlight

     

    Did you know that YEN has a Member of the Month Spotlight on the SEMA website and that anyone can be nominated? To view previous selections or to make a nomination, visit www.sema.org/yen.

     

    Discover The SEMA Mentoring Program—Powered by the SBN

     

    “I’ll get by with a little help from my friends…” - Joe Cocker

     

    Everyone needs help or expert advice from time to time, and SEMA’s Mentoring Program is an excellent resource to get answers to all your questions. Whether you need to know more about SEMA, market information for a start-up company or advice on how to approach your boss about a new position, the SEMA Mentoring Program can help.

     

    “Ask A Mentor” is perfect for one-time questions. You can expect multiple SEMA mentors to provide online guidance and answers to your industry-related questions.

     

    Short-term Assistance/Guidance is for help with a specific project or task. A SEMA council/committee mentor with the expertise you seek will be paired up with you to provide guidance with your project.

     

    Long-term Relationship is helpful for developing your professional career. In this program segment you will be paired with a SEMA council/committee mentor who will provide guidance and assistance for ongoing career development or a long-term project.

     

    So whether you just need an answer to a question or you want to cultivate a mentoring friendship, the SEMA Mentoring Program—Powered by the SBN is available to help. After all, we can all use a little help from our friends.

    Visit the SEMA Mentoring Program now.

    YEN Column in SEMA Member News

    Read YEN's column featured in the May/June issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about YEN, contact Paul Moritz at paulm@sema.org.

  • Pete Meier
    Pete Meier is the new
    technical editor of
    Motor Age magazine.

    Pete Meier was named the new technical editor of Motor Age magazine, an
    Advanstar Communications publication. Previously a contributing editor
    for the magazine, Meier is an ASE Certified Master Auto Technician, a
    sponsoring member of the International Automotive Technicians' Network
    and a trained vocational instructor.

    The Tire Group International hired Ricardo Villanueva as country manager for its sales office in the Dominican Republic, which the company opened in 2008. Villanueva’s most recent position was vice president of sales for Serit Tires, where he was an integral part of the company’s growth in the Dominican Republic and South American markets.

    Currie Enterprises is celebrating its 50th year in business in 2009. To commemorate the event, the company is offering a 2 1/4-inch, limited-edition, self-adhesive, gold–embossed medallion free with the purchase of any Currie catalog. The medallion was originally designed for Currie Axles.

    Pilot Automotive appointed David Tang to vice president of retail sales. He was most recently the vice president of sales with Elegant LLC and prior to that served as executive vice president of sales and marketing for 3A Racing. Tang will be responsible for selected retail accounts and for identifying and supporting new business opportunities at Pilot. Pilot COO Mitch Williams noted, "We are very pleased to have a person of David’s caliber joining our team. He is a highly regarded expert in the automotive aftermarket, and this is a win-win-win situation for Pilot, for David and, most importantly of all, for our customers."

    Katzkin Leather Inc. and Webasto Product North America have combined
    their sales organizations. Effective May 1, the newly expanded Katzkin
    sales team is the single point of contact for both companies’ product
    lines. The 12-member sales team is led by National Sales Manager Ron
    Leslie. Collectively, Webasto Product North America and Katzkin have
    more than 2,000 authorized dealers serving new- and used-car
    dealerships in the United States and Canada.

    Daystar Building
    Daystar Products recently added 10,000 sq. ft.
    to its operations in Phoenix.

    Daystar Products recently completed a 10,000-sq.-ft. addition to its
    manufacturing facility in Phoenix, bringing the facilities total square
    footage to 40,000. The addition will help the company expand its
    manufacturing capabilities and provides additional warehousing space
    for Daystar’s product lines. The building serves as its corporate
    headquarters and includes the main office, manufacturing and
    warehousing operations and a tool-making center.

    As part of its 35th anniversary celebration, Skyjacker Suspensions has expanded its facilities to provide additional warehouse and manufacturing space. The expansion is also in response to consistent demand for its products. “It’s exciting that market demand necessitated this expansion. We are forecasting a great year due to some conservative and strategic planning,” said Lonnie McCurry Jr., chief operations officer.

    Jennifer Tio
    Jennifer Tio

    Jennifer Tio, president of Chicago-based Maximum Marketing Services
    Inc.
    , was elected to the Chicago Manufacturing Center board of
    directors. Tio joined Maximum Marketing Services in 1985 and was named
    company president in 2006. Honored as the 2005 Aftermarket Woman of the
    Year, Tio is active in many organizations, including the Automotive
    Communications Council and the Car Care Council Women’s Board, having
    served a five-year term as president.

     

  • A RIDE: Alex Tagliani will drive the No. 34 Conquest Racing entry during the month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Pole Day qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 is Saturday, May 8 at the historic 2.5-mile superspeedway.

    SUSPENDED BAN: McLaren has been given a three-race ban for bringing the sport into disrepute by deceiving race stewards at the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix, but the sentence has been suspended.

    UPGRADES: Speedway Motorsports Inc. is continuing with plans to make $13.5 million worth of improvements to Kentucky Speedway.

    CANCELLED: The A1GP World Cup of Motorsport has canceled round eight of its 2008–2009 season, the A1GP Mexico City, originally scheduled for May 22–24.

    RIBBON CUTTING:
    The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum held a “Grand Opening” and “Ribbon Cutting” on May 1 for its recently completed second floor, which features a state-of-the-art theater and research library. Several World of Outlaws officials, drivers and crew members attended the ceremony and visited with fans.

    TOP DOG: By sweeping both ends of a NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series doubleheader at Richmond International Raceway, Kyle Busch celebrated his 24th birthday in style and returned to the top of the National Speed Sport News Power Rankings, which rates drivers from all auto-racing disciplines. The rankings appear weekly in America’s Motorsports Authority.

    SUBSCRIBE: National Speed Sport News has been published weekly since 1934. Subscribe to National Speed Sport News for a special industry rate.

  • NHRA Dragster

    NEWS NUGGETS

    WORSHAM’S WIN MOVES HIM TO SECOND; BROWN TO FIRST IN POINTS LEAVING ST. LOUIS: One year later and with a whole new team, Funny Car driver Del Worsham stepped on to the podium at Winners Circle at the O’Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, Wally in hand, with more than just another career win to add to his list of 23, but a huge jump in the point standings that moved him from sixth to second, right behind the man who finished second to him at the event, Ron Capps. But, even more impressive than his holeshot win over Capps or his huge climb in the point standings was that Worsham did it with a team that at the end of the 2008 season didn’t exist yet.

    “This was a brand-new team that came out running so well early that our expectations got so high, and we had to sit back and realize that it’s going to take a couple races, a couple runs, or maybe even a year to get this team running the way it did,” said Worsham, referring to his Alan Johnson Al-Anabi Racing Toyota Solara team. “Alan Johnson, Aaron Brooks, they put this thing together, and they have a tune-up that runs very well. This team was assembled to do well and to win and to win championships.”

    Worsham wasn’t the only driver who made a huge leap in the point standings this weekend. Both Top Fuel and Pro Stock Motorcycle winners Antron Brown and Eddie Krawiec moved into the top spot in their respective fields after each collected his second win of the season.

    “Our team was getting better one step at a time,” said Brown, who also started the season with two new crew chiefs and a new crew. “We were getting faster and faster. In the final, we decided to give it everything we’ve got. We took the wickerbill off, so I knew it would run a big speed if it was stuck. Even so, I was surprised that we ran 318 (mph).”

    Pro Stock defending champion Jeg Coughlin continued his dominance in the class, strengthening his lead in the point standings and earning his third win of the season. For more results from the 13th annual O’Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals, visit www.nhra.com.

    BRISTOL DRAGWAY AND zMAX DRAGWAY TEAM UP TO OFFER FANS INCREDIBLE TICKET PACKAGE: NHRA fans in both Bristol and Charlotte still have the chance of a lifetime as Bristol Dragway and zMAX Dragway have teamed up to offer an amazing ticket package for $199. With the package, fans will get three-day tickets to the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, May 15–17, as well as four-day tickets to the NHRA Nationals, September 17–20, at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte.

    On top of the opportunity to attend two of the biggest races on the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series circuit, fans purchasing four tickets will be able to take laps at both Bristol Motor Speedway and Lowe’s Motor Speedway during each NHRA event weekend. And the first 100 fans to purchase the package will receive a free die-cast Funny Car. To purchase tickets for this special package, call Bristol Dragway at 423/989-6900 or visit at www.bristoldragway.com. The promotion ends Friday, May 8.

    SIOUX CITY TRUCK AND TRAILER NAMED OFFICIAL HEAVY-DUTY TRUCK DEALERSHIP OF NHRA, NHRA SAFETY SAFARI: Sioux City Truck and Trailer, a leading distributor of high-quality heavy-duty trucks and trailers, has extended its agreement as the official heavy-duty truck dealership of NHRA and the NHRA Safety Safari presented by AAA. The official marketing partnership increases Sioux City Truck and Trailer’s participation in NHRA Championship Drag racing. The company also is an associate sponsor of the nitro-powered Funny Cars driven by Cruz and Tony Pedregon.

    As part of the exclusive, multiyear agreement, Sioux City Truck and Trailer is providing NHRA with three Volvo 780 trucks and two trailers to add to its traveling fleet of vehicles that transport equipment to each NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event. In turn, NHRA is providing Sioux City Truck and Trailer with multiple exposure opportunities through a variety of NHRA marketing platforms, including National DRAGSTER, NHRA.com, the annual NHRA Fan Guide and track signage at every NHRA Full Throttle Series national event. In addition, Sioux City Truck and Trailer will have the opportunity to use the NHRA mark in its advertising and promotional campaigns.

    COMING ATTRACTIONS

    NHRA THUNDER VALLEY NATIONALS, BRISTOL DRAGWAY, MAY 15–17: NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing heads back to Thunder Valley and the Mountains of Northern Tennessee for the eighth of 24 events on the 2009 schedule. Defending event winners include Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel); Melanie Troxel (Funny Car); and Dave Connolly (Pro Stock).

    O’REILLY NHRA SUMMER NATIONALS, HEARTLAND PARK TOPEKA, MAY 29–31: Heading to the heartland of America, NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series makes its ninth stop on the 2009 tour. Defending event winners include Hillary Will (Top Fuel); John Force (Funny Car); and Ron Krisher (Pro Stock).

    UNITED ASSOCIATION ROUTE 66 NHRA NATIONALS, ROUTE 66 RACEWAY, JUNE 4–7: NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing returns to the Windy City for the 10th stop on the 2009 season. Defending event winners include Tony Schumacher (Top Fuel); Tony Pedregon (Funny Car); Kurt Johnson (Pro Stock); and Chris Rivas (Pro Stock Motorcycle). F

    HE SAID, SHE SAID

    Eddie Krawiec

    “I’LL HAVE ANOTHER!”: Defending Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Eddie Krawiec on picking up his second career win at Gateway International Raceway after grabbing his first career win just two weeks before in Atlanta: “To come out here and get my second win, it’s just a cool opportunity. It’s tough going out there and getting your first win and everyone told me that once you get your first win, it’ll get easy, but I never thought it would get this easy.”

    INSIDE THE NUMBERS

    7: That’s the number of drivers out of 16 total that have won more than one event at Bristol Motor Speedway since the addition of the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals to the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing schedule in 2001:

     

    • Doug Kalitta (TF 2006, 2005, 2001)
    • Brandon Bernstein (TF 2007, 2003)
    • Tony Schumacher (TF 2008, 2004)
    • Ron Capps (FC 2006, 2001)
    • John Force (FC 2007, 2004)
    • Greg Anderson (PS 2004, 2001)
    • Warren Johnson (PS 2005, 2002)

    DID YOU KNOW…

    …that in the first seven races of the season, three different drivers have led the Top Fuel point standings (Antron Brown, Doug Kalitta and Tony Schumacher) compared to 2008 when only one driver had led the point standings seven races into the season (Tony Schumacher).

Market Snapshot

  • Detroit has long been regarded as the car production capital of the world. The historic metropolis is nicknamed “Motor City” for a reason. It's the place where Chrysler, Ford Motor Company and General Motors established an industrial epicenter and where they are still headquartered to this day. Recently, however, the news coming out of Detroit has been more a continual flow of doom and gloom.

    There are some bright spots despite the bad news. For example, news of Ford’s new Fusion Hybrid hypermiling stunt was covered from English-speaking AutoBlog to the Russian Cars.ru and everything in between. To promote mile-extending driving habits and its modern technology, Ford’s team of trained drivers achieved 81.5 mpg and traveled 1,445 miles on a single tank of gas.

    Other bright spots include the numerous SEMA-member companies that are located in Detroit and its surrounding neighborhoods. On a recent trip, members of SEMA’s market research staff had the opportunity to visit with three member companies that produce some incredible work and are staying busy and optimistic despite the current economic climate: Katech Inc., Eaton Detroit Spring and Roush Enterprises. This week, the visit to Katech will be highlighted.

    There is no doubt that companies in the specialty-equipment industry are feeling the effects of the economy, being that the automotive industry as a whole has been one of the segments most hurt. But member companies have some advantages over the larger automakers. Because they are small, these companies can adapt to the changing automotive landscape more quickly, and, oftentimes, these companies have helped to develop the technologies that automakers use to improve their vehicles. Specialty-equipment companies are sometimes capable of being able to direct more attention to research and development than the automakers because of their size.

    Katech's Warren Frieze
    Katech co-founder Warren Frieze graciously offered to visit with SEMA
    staff to share his experiences and insight to help the association
    understand how to serve the industry.

    Katech Inc. was created, and is currently co-owned, by Fritz Kayl and Warren Frieze. Their work and products involve advanced racing and high-performance engine development. Since being founded in 1977, it has accumulated numerous awards, records and accolades in the world of racing, chiefly as the engine developer and builder for the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Corvette Racing teams. These race cars won the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 ALMS GTI Driver’s Championships and Manufacturer’s Championships and finished one and two in the GTI class of the 2005 24 Hours of Le Mans; all powered by Katech engines. They also built the engines used in the Cadillac CTS-V that won the 2005 and 2007 SCCA World Challenge GT Driver’s Championships.

    All of the engineering, testing, manufacturing and engine assembly are done in-house in one of Katech’s seven test cells, including all of the decking, boring and honing of the engine blocks, testing valvetrain durability, valvetrain analysis, friction tests and fuel-flow tests. To bridge the gap between professional racing and bespoke engineering for consumers, many of the engine blocks, camshafts and other engine parts can be purchased directly from the online store on Katech’s website.

    After joining SEMA in 2004, the company has become an active participant and contributor to the industry, taking full advantage of the benefits offered by the association. SEMA’s market research department has provided Katech with useful market data and reports; the 2008 Motorsports and Performance Report being the most recent. Katech has also been a Technology Transfer user with requests for files related to the Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Cobalt and Cadillac CTS-V.

    Member visits are both enjoyable and educational for the SEMA staff who attend and the participating member. Most importantly, in times of economic uncertainty and market instability, the most effective means to weather the storm is to capitalize on the resources that are available. SEMA staff appreciates the opportunities to visit with members, become aware of their businesses and, ultimately, learn how to better serve the industry.

    SEMA Research & Information Center

  • Consumers are turning their eyes towards new vehicles again. The findings from recent reports are showing upward, although minimal, gains in market confidence.

    "With all the doom and gloom in the U.S. auto industry, it's encouraging that consumers are indicating that they plan to buy a vehicle in the relative near term, in fact, more than a quarter of consumers we talked to as of the end of March plan to buy a new car or truck within the next year, even better news for automakers struggling to move excess inventory from dealer showrooms," Lonnie Miller, director of industry analysis at R.L. Polk, said in a company report late last month. R.L. Polk’s survey collected responses from roughly 1,400 U.S. auto owners.

    An anomaly that was noted in the results was that the highest percentages of consumers willing to buy new vehicles were in the Plains area, while the lowest percentage was around the Great Lakes. With 62% of consumers willing and planning to purchase a new vehicle in the near future from the Plains area, a large factor may be their unemployment rates; they are under the national average. Hovering around 6%, their unemployment rate is roughly 2.5% lower than the national rate of 8.5%. Those in the Great Lakes area may be less inclined to purchase a vehicle—only 51% of consumers—because of their unemployment rate, which stands higher than the national average.

    From a state-by-state perspective, some regions are faring better than others. Future vehicle sales may indeed correlate with current unemployment rates, and understanding which areas are struggling or thriving now might help in creating a successful marketing approach.

    U.S. Unemployment Rate
    North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate in March while Michigan was hit hardest.

    A positive note for U.S. manufacturers is that half of those surveyed said that they would consider purchasing a domestically produced vehicle. That percentage is lower in the western states.

    Miller was quoted as saying, “The domestic manufacturers have long struggled to change the mindset of consumers in California and other western states regarding American vehicles. Now that the U.S. automakers are facing so many challenges, getting these consumers to consider an American vehicle is even more of an uphill battle."

    But taking into account the willingness of the rest of the country to purchase domestic vehicles, things are looking up for those manufacturers.

    SEMA Research & Information Center

    Sources:
    Majority of U.S. Consumers Plan to Buy Next Vehicle in Two years

    Bureau of Labor Statistics


  • Despite the tough economy taking the toll on specialty-equipment sales this year, SEMA members are still investing their profits in marketing—just in different ways. When companies were asked in a recent survey how they invest their marketing dollars, the no. 1 avenue was car shows, giving credence to the value of one-to-one contact with their customers.

    Advertising Types for Promotion
    Car shows remain the most widely used form of connecting with automotive enthusiasts.

    SEMA members were surveyed in early April of this year and asked about business trends and how they deal with the ever-changing marketplace. The number of respondents totaled 523 manufacturers, distributors, jobbers and retailers of performance parts and accessories. Although these companies continue to use traditional forms of marketing to push their products, newer digital media promotion is growing in popularity.

    Automotive enthusiast forums, online retailer websites and automotive magazine websites each experienced a slight nudge in usage among specialty-equipment companies this year compared to last year. Also worth mentioning is the fact that nearly a quarter said that they use social-networking sites to advertise, a promotional tool gaining popularity among industry professionals.

    Social media marketing is a relatively new phenomenon but is growing in popularity as significantly more consumers have flocked to these sites over the years. Facebook recently announced that it has more than 200 million users, for example, according to its website. A survey of senior marketing executives conducted by eMarketer earlier this year showed that 77% plan to increase spending for social media marketing in 2009, and SEMA members have already taken advantage of this trend.

    “Turbonetics has always tried to be aggressive in emerging technologies and various forms of marketing,” notes Tyler Tanaka, marketing brand manager of Turbonetics. “It seems that social media networks have been lying in wait for businesses to realize their branding potential and are now catching on as excellent low-cost alternatives to traditional advertising,” he commented.

    Adding this promotional outlet to one’s marketing campaign does not require significant time investment either, according to Tanaka. “We invest a minimum of 30 minutes per day. It can be answering messages, posting pics/videos or placing links to other cool and fun information. Everything is digitally tied together to catch anyone who visits any of our sites and exposes them to as much information and branding as possible,” notes Tanaka.

    Overall, SEMA members surveyed said they invest, on average, 10% of their total sales in marketing. Whether using their scarce marketing dollars on tried-and-true forms of marketing, such as cars shows and magazines, or investing time and money in social media marketing, those companies that maintain a presence in their customer's eyes are sure to benefit when the economy grows again. — SEMA Research & Information Center

    Source: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007064

Spy Shots

  • Porsche 911 Front

    Brenda Priddy's spy shooter network caught the 2011 Porsche 911 cabriolet (dubbed the "998" internally, Priddy says) turning laps at the Nurburgring. Priddy says that some early media reports pegged this as the next 911 Turbo, but these pictures suggest otherwise.

    "You can see that the side air intake in front of the rear wheels are fake, as is the huger rear wing which hides the shape of the smaller, standard 911 spoilers," she explains.

    Compared to the current model, the front lights stand more upright and the side mirrors have moved from the side window corner to the side of the door. The rear lights are also temporary, she says. The next-gen 911 will feature the same flat-six engine as its predecessor—with a likely power surge—as well as the new PDK dual-clutch gearbox.

    Porsche 911 Side   Photos copyright Brenda Priddy & Company. Reuse or reproduction without copyright holder's consent is prohibited.