SEMA eNews Vol. 13, No. 8, February 25, 2010

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What Has SEMA Done for You Lately?

  •   Paint, Body & Equipment
      2010 SEMA Show organizers plan to move the Paint, Body & Equipment section to a larger, more prominent area.

    As SEMA Show attendees increasingly express interest in the paint and body market, organizers are enhancing features at the 2010 SEMA Show targeted to this segment of the industry. The Paint, Body & Equipment (PBE) area of the upcoming event will be larger and in a more prominent location than it was in 2009, and educational sessions specific to the paint and body market will be offered during the 2010 SEMA Show, November 2–5, in Las Vegas.

    "We're constantly adapting to changes in the industry," notes Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. "We challenge ourselves to deliver high value to both exhibitors and attendees, all with the goal of providing them with a Show that is current and relevant."

    While the PBE floor section was formally introduced in 2009, Show organizers had seen an increase in the product category for many years. More than 50 manufacturers responded by exhibiting in last year's section located in North Hall. Based on recent inquiries and requests, organizers are anticipating that the area will be larger in 2010 and are moving it to a more prominent area, still in North Hall.

    Organizers are also working with the Society of Collision and Repair Specialists (SCRS) and Collision Industry Conference (CIC), both of whom are hosting meetings for their groups in Las Vegas during the week of the SEMA Show.

    "Through ongoing discussions with our membership, it is obvious that there is a strong desire to participate, and have representation, in this event,” said SCRS Chairman Barry Dorn. “Partnering with SEMA to significantly enhance the offerings available to our industry makes a lot of sense, and we are ecstatic to build upon what is shaping out to be a very strong foundation between SCRS and the SEMA Show."

    The SCRS is collaborating closely with SEMA to develop targeted educational seminars at the SEMA Show.

    "We're looking forward to working with the SCRS in developing a valuable and relevant educational program," said SEMA Vice President of Marketing and Member Services Tom Myroniak. Typically featuring 50–60 sessions throughout the week, the educational program is one of the cornerstones of the annual trade-only event.

    "As more and more attendees at the SEMA Show become interested in the paint and body market, it is becoming increasingly more important to incorporate seminars targeted specifically to this audience," said Myroniak. "Working with the SCRS will be instrumental in helping us deliver value to this growing group."

    Manufacturers interested in exhibiting at the SEMA Show will be able to access space rental agreements in mid-March. Attendee registration for the event opens in May. Updated information is available at

Breaking News

  •   Ford Flex - project vehicles
      Act soon if you want to secure a Ford, Lincoln or Mercury project vehicle for this year; proposals are due March 1, 2010.

    Ford is accepting the final proposals for its annual project vehicle program. This is your last chance to put together a design, buildup and marketing plan for a 2010 project Ford, Lincoln or Mercury.

    Eligible vehicles include the 2011-model-year Fiesta, Mustang (including the new 5.0 GT), Edge, F-150, Super Duty, Lincoln MKX and 2012 Focus.

    Criteria are similar to past Ford project-vehicle programs: companies requesting project vehicles should be a manufacturer or designer/restyler; a current SEMA member; and committed to a thorough marketing plan that includes the 2010 SEMA Show.

    Click here for additional details
    . Don’t delay—proposals are due by March 1, 2010.

  •   SEMA Show floor
      Applications for exhibitor space at the 2010 SEMA Show will be available online in mid-March.

    Exhibitor applications will soon be available for the 2010 SEMA Show, taking place Tuesday–Friday, November 2–5, 2010, in Las Vegas. The forms, which will be posted at in mid-March, must be returned by May 7, 2010, in order to participate in the priority-space-selection process.

    The SEMA Show is the premier automotive accessories trade show in the world. The annual event draws more than 100,000 industry professionals, including 50,000 buyers and 2,300 media representatives.

    “The SEMA Show is an exclusive event where auto parts manufacturers and buyers come together to do business,” said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of communications and events. “With 2 million sq. ft. of exhibits and attractions, serious buyers come to the SEMA Show to see new products and discover new trends.”

    Since the SEMA Show debuted in 1967, the event has been instrumental in helping small auto parts manufacturers reach a large number of industry buyers. In 2009, 87% of buyers at the SEMA Show make or influence buying decisions, and 73% said that they purchase more products from SEMA Show exhibitors than from non-exhibiting companies.

    Geared primarily to small businesses, the SEMA Show has several cost-saving programs designed to help exhibitors maximize the return on their investment.

    “We recognize the investment exhibitors are making by participating at the SEMA Show,” said MacGillivray. “We are committed to working with exhibitors to help them meet their goals.”

    Among the programs available to exhibitors is the New Products Showcase. All exhibitors are able to submit a product into the showcase at no cost. That product receives increased exposure by being included in a high-profile, high-traffic area of the Show floor, and it is professionally photographed and available to media outlets throughout the world.

    Many exhibitors also qualify to receive free material handling, and all exhibitors benefit from booth prices that have remained the same for six consecutive years.

    To learn more about the SEMA Show and how to exhibit, visit or contact SEMA Show Management at 702/450-7662, ext. 120.

  •   Race Goes Green
      Industry leaders, including (from left) MIA's Chris Aylett, SEMA's
    Chris Kersting, Braille Battery's Blake Fuller and TTXGP's Azhar
    Hussain discuss green racing technologies at the 2009 "The Race Goes
    Green" seminar.

    The Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) has confirmed several motorsports icons for the MIA-SEMA The Race Has Gone Green Conference in Long Beach, California, on Friday, April 16, at the Long Beach Convention Center during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

    Scott Atherton (American Le Mans Series CEO), David Brabham (2009 ALMS series champion, winner of 2009 LeMans 24 Hours), Les MacTaggart (senior technical director, Indy Racing League), and Rt Hon. Lord Drayson (U.K. minister of state for science and innovation) are among the first speakers to confirm.

    The Race Has Gone Green is a one-day conference featuring performance industry icons and professionals focused on developing green technologies that will lead to a booming future for green performance products.

    Conference fees are $275 for SEMA or MIA members, $375 for non-members. Registration includes paddock passes for American Le Mans Series qualifying.

    Click here to register now.

    For more information, visit or e-mail Jeremy Burne, Tracy Dewhirst or John Waraniak.

    Make it a weekend! Discounted tickets for the Long Beach Grand Prix are available for SEMA members. Download the discount flyer here.

  •   S2000 at SEMA Show
      Fans of compact performance cars like the Honda S2000 are the most active group of Internet researchers and purchasers among specialty-equipment enthusiasts.

    If you needed further motivation to revamp, enhance, or (deep breath) finally develop your business’ website, consider this data gathered from car and truck enthusiasts at the 2009 SEMA Show: an average of 75% of enthusiasts in eight different categories use the Internet to research and inform their parts and accessories purchases.

    That number jumps to 80% when social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are factored in.

    Fellow enthusiast sites are the most popular venues for gathering information, followed by queries made through traditional search engines such as Google and Yahoo.

    Magazines, catalogs, car shows and manufacturer websites also still contribute to enthusiast research. Depending on market segment, between 52% and 78% of enthusiasts still rely on magazines, for example, to inform their buying decisions. Street-rod enthusiasts in particular prefer ink and paper (78%), almost as much as they do enthusiast website research (80%).

    Compact-performance fans are the most receptive to doing their homework on the Internet, with 85% saying they turn to enthusiast sites for answers. Off-roaders and street- performance enthusiasts (81%) follow closely behind.

    Does all of that time in front of the screen convert to action? Absolutely. An average of 72% of parts hunters in all eight categories said they’d purchased from Internet retailers. Not surprisingly, compact-performance enthusiasts were most likely to buy from an Internet retailer, while those in the restoration scene—just 66%—were among the least likely.

    Where does that leave the independent retailer? Generally, about 54% of enthusiasts in all segments—compact performance, off-road, passenger car, racing, restoration, street performance, street rod/custom, and truck/SUV—said they’d purchased from an independent retailer.

    Street performance fans are most likely to buy from an independent (55%), while truck and SUV owners at just 46% are the least loyal.

    In an effort to better analyze the tastes and preferences of today’s auto enthusiasts, SEMA, in coordination with Ford, launched the Enthusiast Opinion Leader Research Program at the 2009 SEMA Show.

    The program invited 527 enthusiasts, selected through a rigorous application process, to the second day of the Show and tasked them with using social media, including Twitter and Facebook, to broadcast their personal product and trend highlights of the Show.

    Participants in the program were mostly male (96%), with 52% between 25–44 years old. Most were married (96%), with 67% having household incomes between $50,000 to in excess of $75,000.

    Read more about the Enthusiast Opinion Leader Research Program in the February issue of SEMA News.

Business Tools

  • As the automotive industry continues to adapt to changes in the economy and consumer spending habits, SEMA-member companies are faced with the decision to race ahead with a new course for the specialty-equipment market or fall behind with the old status quo. In a recent SEMA webinar, "The Major Determinants of U.S. Automotive Demand: Factors Driving the U.S. Automotive Market," moderator John Waraniak, SEMA vice president of vehicle technology, urges members to focus on the upside of the industry’s downturn.

  •   tires at the SEMA Show
      Eliminate the confusion of servicing tire-pressure monitoring systems through this exclusive SEMA webinar.

    As increasing numbers of vehicles equipped with tire-pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) come on line, knowledge of proper servicing procedures for both direct and indirect systems is essential for tire installation, repair and maintenance professionals.

    Understanding when a relearn procedure is necessary, such as after a change in air pressure, a tire rotation or a tire/sensor replacement, is only the first step. Technicians must also understand relearn procedures for both import and domestic vehicles.

    On Thursday, March 4, at 10:00 a.m. (PST), SEMA will present an exclusive webinar entitled “Servicing the Next Generation of Tire-Pressure Monitoring Systems.” Kevin Rohlwing, senior vice president of training for the Tire Industry Association (TIA), will present a summary of TPMS technology currently used on foreign and domestic vehicles and the latest relearn principles.

    Rohlwing will also discuss the difference between a low-tire indicator and a malfunction indicator light as well as the fundamentals of aluminum clamp-in sensor service and maintenance. A tire-industry veteran with more than 26 years of experience in the field, Rohlwing has trained more than 3,000 certified tire service professionals on the latest developments in the tire industry.

    The TPMS webinar is free to SEMA members and is only $29 for non-members. It will be available both live and as a downloadable presentation that tire professionals may view at their convenience. Visit to register.

New Products and Technology

  • Audi A7

    If you're looking for a sports commuter that can also get you up the mountain for some skiing and boarding, here's a consideration. Brenda Priddy's spy photo crew caught this 2011 Audi A7 powersliding out on a frozen lake with a new feature as yet unspotted: an automatic spoiler.

    Riding on a version of the next-generation A6 platform, the A7 will go into production in the second half of this year. Priddy says the United States can expect to see a 300hp supercharged V6 version in addition to a 4.2L V8. While the Mercedes CLS will be the A7's main opposition, BMW's 5 Series GT may also be on the target list.

    Audi A7

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

Law & Order

  • A substitute bill to ban the use of most aftermarket exhaust systems has been introduced in the Utah Legislature and passed by the Senate Transportation Committee. The bill now moves to the floor of the Senate for a vote by all members. Under the substitute bill, all vehicles must be equipped with an exhaust system that is “installed by the original manufacturer of the vehicle and is not modified; or meets specifications equivalent to the muffler installed by the original manufacturer of the vehicle and is not modified.”

    Among other things, the substitute bill ignores the fact that aftermarket exhaust systems are designed to make vehicles run more efficiently without increasing emissions; does not supply law enforcement with a clear standard to enforce, allowing them to make subjective judgments on whether or not a modified exhaust system is in violation and; would make it difficult for hobbyists to replace factory exhaust systems with more durable, better performing options. 

    Read more about the bill. For additional details, contact Steve McDonald.

  • Legislation that would have expanded the definition of “abandoned motor vehicle” to include vehicles that were left unattended for more than six hours on private property without valid plates, title or permit will not be considered in the 2010 legislative session. The bill also sought to include vehicles that are inoperable, partially dismantled, wrecked, junked or discarded.

    Under current law, a vehicle is not considered to be abandoned on private property until it is left unattended for more than seven days. Motor vehicles are defined as abandoned for the purpose of allowing state and local authorities to remove them from private property. Given the opposition raised by SEMA and the Nebraska vehicle hobbyist community, the bill sponsor will make a series of amendments to protect hobbyists before reintroducing legislation next year.

    For details, contact Steve McDonald.

  • SEMA again helped turn back legislation in the Washington Legislature that would have implemented a vehicle scrappage program for passenger vehicles more than 15 years old. Given the outcry of SEMA and members of the Washington vehicle hobbyist community, the House Finance Committee chose not to consider the bill before the cut-off deadline.

    Under the bill, qualifying vehicles would have had to be registered for a 24-month period and in satisfactory operating condition. Replacement vehicles purchased under the plan would have been required to have an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highway gasoline mileage rating of at least 30 mpg. Participants in the program were to be granted a sales-tax exemption for the first $2,000 of tax paid on the purchase price. All trade-in vehicles would have been destroyed, regardless of their historical value or collector interest.

    For details, contact Steve McDonald.

  • A SEMA-supported bill in the West Virginia Legislature to provide owners of antique motor vehicles with a reduced personal property tax assessment has been passed by the Roads and Transportation Committee. The bill is now pending in the House Finance Committee for consideration. West Virginia law defines an "antique motor vehicle" to mean any motor vehicle which is more than 25 years old and is owned solely as a collector's item.

    Under the bill, for the purposes of the property tax, the assessed value of an antique vehicle cannot exceed $200. The maximum amount of tax that could be due for an antique vehicle being titled for the first time would be 5% of the assessed value, or a maximum of $10. Thereafter, the maximum amount of personal property tax due annually would be $2 for every $100 assessed in value, or a maximum of $4.

    Read more about the SEMA-supported bill. For additional details, contact Steve McDonald at

  • SEMA is supporting a bill in the Oklahoma Legislature to reduce the annual registration fee for vehicles 25 years old and older to $5. Under current law, these vehicles are assessed at a rate of $15 per year.

    Read more about the bill in the Oklahoma Legislature. For additional details, contact Steve McDonald.

  • According to Kansas legislators, support for a SEMA-opposed bill that would allow cities to enforce “nuisance abatement” procedures by notifying affected property owners by use of first-class mail instead of certified mail (with a return receipt) has been withdrawn. There will be no action on the bill this year. The Kansas jurisdiction behind the bill’s introduction has decided to withdraw its support until there is another method to notify property owners of enforcement action.

    Nuisance abatement laws are often used by cities to force removal of inoperable vehicles, including parts cars, stored on private property by car collectors. SEMA opposed the bill because without actual and verified notification, owners could risk removal of valuable collector cars and parts, especially when they are not at home to receive a first-class mailing.

    For details, contact Steve McDonald.

Global Update

  • SEMA News is interviewing top distributors/retailers in China in a series of monthly articles to introduce the larger players in the evolving specialty-equipment market in China to the magazine’s readers. For this month’s international insight into China, SEMA spoke with founder and CEO of V-Man Tuning, Liu Yan. V-Man Tuning is an off-road distributor and installer that was established in 2004 and currently employs 55 people, including 11 installers.

    The company specializes in performance parts for a wide variety of off-road vehicles. The brands that V-Man distributes include TRD, Fox Racing and King Suspensions. [Read More]

  • SEMA News
    recently talked with Stuart Charity, executive director of the nearly
    30-year-old Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA), and
    Ben Bartlett, the AAAA’s national membership manager, about the
    Australian specialty-equipment market amid increasingly positive news
    that Australia is well on its way to an economic recovery.

    are indications that the automotive industry there has begun to
    rebound, and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries reported
    growing vehicle sales—with particularly strong SUV sales—and overall
    sales for 2009 were expected to reach up to 900,000.

    Spurred by tax rebates for business purchases of vehicles and increased
    purchasing as growing confidence by consumers increases, the sales gap
    will be much less than feared just several months ago, although the
    total isn’t expected to reach the record-setting 1.05 million achieved
    in 2007. [Read More]

People, Places, & Racing News

  • ARMO Logo  
    Visit ARMO's website.  

    ARMO Select Committee Elects Alex Tainsh as Chair-Elect

    Alex Tainsh is a founding member of ARMO and has been an active member for
    12 years. His accomplishments begin with a combined 16-year stint at P.U.I and
    Soffseal, and he is currently the sales and marketing manager for TrimParts.

    Throughout his many years with ARMO, he has worked passionately to
    promote the "Take a Kid to a Car Show" program and, most notably,
    headed up the Colton Camaro project. When asked about future projects,
    Tainsh reiterated the importance of young enthusiasts and the
    preservation of the restoration market.

    As Tainsh begins his two-year term as chair-elect, Laura Bergan will assume chairwoman duties July 1.

    ARMO Column in SEMA Member News

    Read ARMO's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

    For more information about ARMO, visit the council's website.

    HRIA Logo  
    Visit HRIA's website  

    HRIA Column in SEMA Member News

    Read HRIA's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

    For more information about HRIA, visit the council's website.



    LTAA Logo  
    Visit LTAA's website.  

    LTAA Column in SEMA Member News

    Read LTAA's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

    For more information about LTAA, contact Jim Skelly.



    MPMC Logo  
    Visit MPMC's website.  

    Wet Weather Fails to Dampen Spirits at Annual Media Trade Conference

    The 2010 Media Trade Conference, hosted by SEMA's Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC),
    coincided with one of the wettest weeks on record in Southern
    California—unfortunate for those who came from colder climes seeking a
    little West Coast sun and warmth.

      Media Trade Conference
      Media attendees of the annual Media Trade Conference can gather months of editorial content over the event's three days.

    For three days from January 19–21, 100 manufacturers met with editors
    and writers throughout the day in a series of half-hour meetings. For
    manufacturers it's a chance to put their newest products in front of
    the enthusiast media. For editors, it's a way to nail down several months
    (in some cases an entire year's) worth of editorial projects.

    SEMA News took the opportunity to meet with member companies
    to not only learn about their new products, but also the overall
    business climate. We were relieved to learn that most businesses are
    fairly optimistic about recovery in 2010, embracing a feeling that the
    worst has passed.

    Judging by the investment these companies have made in new-product
    development, from Edelbrock's venture into supercharging to Yokohama's
    "green" tires, 2010 looks to have gotten off on the right foot for
    enthusiasts and specialty-equipment businesses alike.

    MPMC Column in SEMA Member News

    Read MPMC's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about MPMC, contact Jim Skelly.

    MRC Logo  
    Visit MRC's website.  

    MRC Names Chris Fairless New Chair-Elect

    MRC Select Committee has named Chris Fairless of Fairless Sales &
    Marketing to the position of chair-elect. Fairless is a current MRC
    Select Committee member and will take over duties as chair-elect on
    July 1. Fairless stated, “I’m honored to be selected as MRC’s chair-elect. I’m looking forward to the future challenges and the
    opportunities. I’m excited to be involved with SEMA and MRC and hope to
    inspire more people in our industry to get involved. There are great
    opportunities ahead!” When Fairless assumes chair-elect duties on July
    1, current chair-clect Wade Cobb of HAPCO will become chairman of MRC,
    when Joel Rosenthal’s two-year term as MRC chairman ends. At that time,
    Rosenthal will assume his new role as the MRC immediate past chairman/advisor.

    2010 MRC Long-Range Planning Meeting at PWA

    MRC will be conducting its annual Long-Range Planning meeting in
    conjunction with the Performance Warehouse Association (PWA) Conference. All reps
    are welcome and encouraged to participate in this open forum and
    address issues faced daily by reps in all segments of the automotive
    industry. Bring your ideas and suggestions to raise the bar for all
    manufacturers' reps.

    For us to be able to accommodate attendees
    with food and beverage, we ask that you take a moment and contact Staci
    Bostock at 909/396-0289 ext. 104 or e-mail

    MRC Column in SEMA Member News

    Read MRC's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about MRC, contact Staci Bostock.

    PRO Logo  
    Visit PRO's website.  

    PRO and University of Northwestern Ohio to Host Technical Skills & Training Conference 

    PRO will launch the 2010
    Technical Skills & Training Conference (TSTC), a new, one-day training program designed specifically for restylers and
    installers. The inaugural event takes place Friday, April 30, 2010,
    at the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) in Lima,

    TSTC attendees may participate in up to six one-hour seminars presented
    by PRO-member manufacturing companies. Two sessions will run
    concurrently during each of the one-hour time slots, with presentations
    covering leather, sunroofs, 12-volt/A6 electrical, truck accessories
    (towing and suspension and diesel performance) and self-adhesive
    (paint, film and wrapping).

    Should an attendee prefer, several manufacturers will conduct live
    installation demos in the university’s shop area. Demonstrations will
    be conducted in "bullpen”
    fashion, enabling attendees to watch multiple installs in one shop
    area. The training portion of the day begins at 8:00 a.m., concludes at
    4:00 p.m. and includes lunch.

    Attendees can still take advantage of
    additional offerings from PRO after the trainings. A brief, one-hour open PRO meeting will
    be held from 4:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m., giving attendees a chance to hear the
    latest happenings and offerings from the Professional Restylers
    Organization. The meeting is open to all attendees, with a mixer/reception to follow at 6:00 p.m.

    Cost to attend the conference is $25 and includes a catered lunch,
    the open meeting and the networking reception. If more than one company
    representative plans to attend, the fee is only $15 per each additional

    On Saturday, May 1, PRO will conduct its annual Long-Range Planning
    meeting at the university. All PRO members are encouraged to attend. For more information, contact Zane Clark at or 909/396-0289, ext. 134, and visit for additional details.

    Download the Technical Skills & Training Conference registration form.

    PRO NovemberFest Is Huge Success

      NovemberFest Logo
    Chairman Karl Stearns credits the hard work of the council members for
    the success of the group's NovemberFest at the 2009 SEMA Show.

    first-ever PRO Industry Awards reception held at the SEMA Show was an
    overwhelming success for the PRO council. Branded "NovemberFest," the
    reception played to a packed house, as more than 200 attendees filled
    Ballrooms D, E, F and G at the Las Vegas Hilton to standing room only.
    The evening included a free commemorative event T-shirt, German-themed
    food and bar menus and presentations of PRO’s annual industry awards.

    am so proud of this council,” said PRO Chairman Karl Stearns. “At our
    LRP in June, the idea for a reception was introduced. Someone suggested
    we come up with a brand for the event so that it wouldn’t just be
    another reception. Someone else suggested NovemberFest, and the
    Select Committee was off and running. Select Committee members designed
    the logo, menu, T-shirt and the bookmark invitation concept and
    solicited sponsorship monies.

    "SEMA did the final invitation layout, and
    we kept them apprised every step of the way to make sure nothing fell
    off the track. At the Show, we all pushed the invitations from our
    booths and in the aisles. The process was a textbook volunteer
    cooperation. The success of the actual event is icing on the cake.
    We’re already looking forward to next year!"

    NovemberFest was held on Tuesday, November 3, from 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. at the Las Vegas Hilton.

    PRO Column in SEMA Member News

    Read PRO's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about PRO, contact Jim Skelly.

    SBN Logo  
    Visit SBN's website.  

    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

    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 January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about SBN, visit the committee's website.

    SPC Logo  
    Visit SPC's website.  

    SPC Column in SEMA Member News

    Read SPC's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about SPC, contact Nathan Ridnouer.



    WTC Logo  
    Visit WTC's website.  

    WTC Column in SEMA Member News

    Read WTC's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about WTC, contact Jim Skelly.



    YEN Logo  
    Visit YEN's website.  

    Join YEN

    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

    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

    YEN Column in SEMA Member News

    Read YEN's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

    For information about YEN, contact Nathan Ridnouer.

  • The SEMA Person of the Year Award was established in 1969 to honor an individual for outstanding contributions to the industry reaching beyond the person’s normal job functions. In the case of this year’s honoree, those contributions were extraordinary and ongoing. SEMA was proud to name Doug Evans of Source Interlink Media its 2009 Person of the Year at the recent SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

  • Roger Penske gave up a successful racing career to open his first car dealership in 1965, but that didn’t keep him away from the track. He began Penske Racing that same year, and one of his earliest acquisitions was the 1966 Corvette coupe. The car had been used by Chevrolet to develop the L88 engine program, and Penske struck a deal with Zora Arkus-Dontov—who quietly worked around GM’s factory ban on race support—to buy the car for competition.

    Penske sent a young West Coast racer named Dick Guldstrand to Detroit to drive the Corvette to Penske’s operation in Pennsylvania. [Read More]

  • UNCERTAIN FUTURE: USF1 has reportedly asked the FIA for permission to
    miss the first four races of the 2010 Formula One season. USF1
    Executive Vice President Peter Windsor is rumored to be on his way out
    as well.

    SPECTATOR DEATH: Susan Zimmer, a 52-year-old spectator from Wisconsin, was killed Saturday during the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Firebird Int’l Raceway when a tire from Antron Brown’s Top Fuel dragster flew over the catch fencing and struck her. She was pronounced dead at Good Samaritan Hospital.

    Atlantic Championship Series owner Bob Johnston is hopeful that 2010 will be a strong year for the oldest open-wheel racing series in American history. The series has introduced a value program that will guarantee any driver paying $495,000 a seat for the 2010 season.

    NEW OWNERS: Davey Hamilton, along with Scott Jaske, Joe Kennedy and Jeff Sinden, purchased the Menard Engine Group last week. Hamilton will oversee all aspects of the business.

    SPRINT SUB: Paul McMahan will drive the No. 91 Kasey Kahne Racing entry in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series in place of injured rookie Cody Darrah.

    Formula One veteran Takuma Sato and E.J. Viso have joined KV Racing Technology for the full IZOD IndyCar Series slate this year. Hideki Mutoh has also landed at Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing after spending the last two years with Andretti Autosport.

    Levi Jones led only three laps out of a possible 90, but he still left USA Raceway in Tucson, Arizona, as the winner of the USAC Silver Crown and USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car events Sunday. Brad Sweet captured the USAC Mopar National Midget feature.

    The 28th annual Jim Nace National Open at Selinsgrove (Pa.) Speedway could potentially pay out $26,000 if one driver can win both 22-lap segments during the event scheduled for September 18.

    Conquest Racing will return full time to the IZOD IndyCar Series this season by fielding an entry for series rookie Mario Romancini.

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  •   Lori Simonelli
      Lori Simonelli

    Twenty-eight-year veteran of the tire industry Lori Simonelli was hired by Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. as senior director of technical services. Simonelli most recently worked as a consultant for RAM Key Consultants and previously worked for 27 years at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. With a career focused on new-product development, she served as a project manager for consumer products in North America and was a project manager overseeing technical and quality for consumer tire sourcing. Simonelli also held the position of manager of consumer tire design.

    CPFilms Inc. presented its National Dealer of the Year honor to Sunmaster of Napa, California, during CPFilms annual Vista and FormulaOne window films dealer conference in January. Pro-Film of Torrington, Connecticut, won the Eastern Regional Dealer of the Year award, while Sunbusters of Austin, Texas, received the Western Regional Dealer of the Year award. Several tiers of dealer loyalty awards were also presented during the event.

    The Association of Diesel Specialists will hold the 2010 ADS International Convention & Tradeshow — Branding Clean Diesel at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas, August 3–7, 2010. The event, geared toward business owners, managers, technicians and corporate officials in the diesel industry, will feature new products and services, educational sessions and business tools and resources.

    Fujitsu Ten Corp. of America appointed MITO Corp. as the exclusive distributor of Eclipse integrated navigation products to retailers in the U.S. market. With this appointment, MITO will begin supplying application-specific navigation systems to expeditors that supply products and services for Toyota vehicles.

    Cool Shades Camaro  
    Real Wheels Cool Shades Camaro project vehicle.  

    For the second consecutive year, GWG Wheels Corp. developed a joint venture with Real Wheels Corp. For last year’s partnership, GWG’s Black Amaya wheels with a red ring accented the aggressive look of the Real Wheels Cool Shades Camaro project vehicle.

    The Compressed Air and Gas Institute launched a new online technical support center—known as SmartSite—that provides training, resources and technical information to professionals in the compressed air industry. Participants can login and access the latest information regarding air compressors, blowers, pneumatic tools and air and gas drying and filtration equipment, advancing at their own pace from their work or home computer.

    To support the ongoing growth within its StopTech and Power Slot divisions, Centric Parts has installed a second fully functional dynamometer. "The Centric Parts commitment to product innovation and quality meant our current dynamometer was fully booked with a long list of projects spanning all of our divisions," revealed Dan Lelchuk, President of Centric Parts. "This addition will help fuel the company's projected growth for years to come."

    Motorz TV launched an iPhone and iPod Touch Application that is available for free through the Apple iTune App Store. Hosted by Chris Duke, Motorz TV is a DIY television show for auto enthusiasts that provides tips on how to maintain vehicles and install aftermarket products step-by-step, in a typical garage setting using common tools. For the latest from Motorz TV, visit

    Mishimoto Automotive announced a new partnership with Adams Motorsports Park, an amateur racetrack in Southern California. As part of the joint venture, Mishimoto will sponsor ‘Thursday Night Drift,’ the country’s biggest weekly drifting show, by offering drifters a steep discount on all products through the new Mishimoto Loves Drifters program. For more information and details on how to join, visit or e-mail

    Mitchell 1 delivered the first issue of its new shop-management software electronic newsletter, Forum Gazette, to its entire shop management customer e-mail list. The monthly publication contains valuable contributions submitted by members of the Shop Management Users Forum and timely Mitchell 1 announcements. For more information, visit

    MapWide, owner of the group of local web search portals, recently launched, a search portal that links consumers to automotive businesses at the local level. Users can search by zip code, distance and category, allowing them to pinpoint desired services and suppliers in any neighborhood.

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Spy Shots

  • Audi A7

    If you're looking for a sports commuter that can also get you up the mountain for some skiing and boarding, here's a consideration. Brenda Priddy's spy photo crew caught this 2011 Audi A7 powersliding out on a frozen lake with a new feature as yet unspotted: an automatic spoiler.

    Riding on a version of the next-generation A6 platform, the A7 will go into production in the second half of this year. Priddy says the United States can expect to see a 300hp supercharged V6 version in addition to a 4.2L V8. While the Mercedes CLS will be the A7's main opposition, BMW's 5 Series GT may also be on the target list.

    Audi A7

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