SEMA eNews Vol. 14, No. 16, April 21, 2011

Experts Talk Hottest Trends and Products in the Light-Truck Market

NEW PRODUCTS

View all Truck, SUV & Off-Road Products and Expert Comments on PDF

   
Forty Wranglers were on display in exhibitor booths, combined with another 54 on display throughout the Las Vegas Convention Center during the 2010 SEMA Show. Clearly dominating the floor, Jeep Wrangler was presented with the 2010 SEMA Award for Hottest 4x4-SUV. This example was built by Warrior Products and features accessories from a host of manufacturers, including Airaid, HoodLift, ProComp USA and ScanGaugeII.
     
     

The light-truck industry was particularly hard hit by the recession that began about three years ago, but at last, the tide seems to be turning. The automakers are seeing definite and consistent sales increases, and while some sectors of the truck market remain tentative, full-size pickups and crossover vehicles are clearly on the upswing. Of the 10 top-selling vehicles in January of 2011, according to Automotive News, the Ford F-Series pickup was number one (again), the Chevrolet Silverado was number two and the Honda CR-V was number six.

At the 2010 SEMA Show, exhibitors in the Truck, SUV & Off-Road section created a similar feeling of optimism about the year ahead. With booth registration up 9% from the previous Show, the upper level of the South Hall was a shrine to this market featuring more than 250 exhibitors. New-product registrations also soared, with truck, SUV and off-road exhibitors placing 284 products in the New Products Showcase.

While their entries tend to run the gamut of applications, manufacturers in this market dedicated the bulk of their research and design money to five product categories. As evident by the registration data taken from this year’s Showcase, five product categories dominated exhibitors’ submissions—winches, suspension accessories, trailer hitches, driving lights and bumpers. Much of the new product activity in the off-road segment centered on Jeep Wrangler applications, which commanded significant investment among manufacturers in the segment. The Jeep Wrangler was also the most frequently seen display vehicle on the floor in the off-road segment, while the F-150 was the most-displayed truck.

Four out of five buyers (74%), visited the New Products Showcase, where truck, SUV and off-road manufacturers made a strong impact on attendees. Their entries were scanned 11,051 times by attending media and buyers using handheld remote scanners.

Typically, once buyers identify the products they find most intriguing, they hit the SEMA Show floor and meet with exhibitors face-to-face.

This year, active buyers in the truck, SUV and off-road market took advantage of the opportunity, introducing themselves and scanning their badges at booths in this section a total of 31,252 times.

The following are New Products Showcase entries dedicated to truck, SUV and off-road applications. Along with the products, we’ve interviewed industry executives to get their thoughts about the trends they perceive and some words of advice about what might lie ahead. You’ll see their comments and predictions as you page through the story.


AR Ventures
Articulating Hitch Ball Mounts
505/343-1705
www.arventureshitches.com
PN: AR-007
Articulating pro hitch ball mount.
 
Runner-Up—Best New Packaging Design

AMP Research
Bed X-Tender
888/983-2204
www.amp-research.com
PN: 74504-01A

 
Bestop Inc.
Cleaner and Protectant
800/845-3567
www.bestop.com
PN: 11205-00
Bestop-recommended fabric-care products now available for Bestop soft-tops and accessories.
         

Ascend Industries Inc.
Diamond Step Bar With LED Lights 714/593-3400
www.ascendtruck.com
PN: VB-5000 Series

Highly polished stainless-steel step bar with LED ground effects that is compatible with factory keyless remote and dome light.

 
Baja Designs/Soltek Light Systems Strykr Pro
800/422-5292
www.bajadesigns.com
PN: 63-0012
A 700-Lumen helmet light that is waterproof and rugged. High, medium, low and strobe modes. Light head weighs only 100 grams. Battery lasts from 3–24 hours.
 
Baja Designs/Soltek Light Systems Stealth LED
800/422-5292
www.bajadesigns.com
PN: 620270
High-performance LED light bar for off-road or auxiliary lighting. Each 10-in. segment provides 3500 lumens (equivalent to HID)of light put exactly where the user needs it.
         

Bestop Inc.
Under Seat Locking Storage Box 800/845-3567
www.bestop.com
PN: 42641-01
The Under Seat Locking Storage Box allows secure, out-of-sight storage of valuables and is custom-designed to easily bolt in directly below the driver’s seat.

 

 

 

Bestop Inc.
HighRock 4x4 Narrow-Style Front Bumper 800/845-3567
www.bestop.com
PN: 42933-01
Bestop’s new narrow bumper hits the design points today’s Jeep owners are looking for and are carefully designed to not hit anything else. Short design eliminates any unnecessary overhang; will clear any size tires. There is still room for extraction points.

 
Bestop Inc.
TrekStep for Jeep Wrangler
800/845-3567
www.bestop.com
PN: 45299-15
A spring-loaded step that easily extends down with the push of a foot and retracts up to store securely under the rear bumper when not in use.
         

BAK Industries
BakBox
818/365-9000
www.bakliner.com
PN: 90-XXX
Bakbox is the world’s first and only toolbox that folds away and disappears to provide full, unobstructed use of the truck bed when needed. It ships UPS and is invisible when closed. It works with all tonneau covers.

 

Couplemate
SUV Step
775/219-7708
www.couplemate.com
PN: CM010
A fantastic innovation for the single-strut designed base plate. Importantly, all existing Couplemate baseplates can accept the new SUV step.

 

Carriage Works Billet Accessories
’11 Ford Super Duty Grille
816/966-1405
www.carriageworksinc.com
PN: 44782
A ’11 Ford Super Duty XL, XLT, Lariat and King Ranch monster bar quick-replacement billet grille. Provides show-quality customized appearance at an affordable price.

 


Carr
Work Truck Step 24
800/800-1084
www.carr.com
PN: 501020
Carr’s 24-in. work truck step is a hands-free step that provides safe and secure access to the side of a truck.
  Ford is profitable, GM doesn’t need bailout money anymore and the OEs are getting leaner in their manufacturing. That will eventually trickle down to manufacturers, retailers and consumers. Confidence will grow, sales will trend upward and anyone who survives this economy will emerge leaner, stronger and positioned to be more profitable.
However, retailers have yet to fully embrace online marketing. A great website is vital. With a properly built site, retailers have the chance appear on the first page of Google’s results when a consumer searches a term such as “Truck Caps Los Angeles.”
Google knows where customers are located and can refer them to a retailer who has a highly optimized website. But you get what you pay for. Many businesses spend around $1,500 on a website, but a $5,000 site has a chance to be your top-performing salesperson. The same goes for things such as e-mail marketing and Facebook for business.
Look at how many of the right customers you can put your company and products in front of, and the cost per customer. People are out there buying the products you sell. You just have to make sure they’re buying them from you.

—Chris Ripper
General Manager, ATC Truck Covers

 


Carr
Work Truck Step 24
800/800-1084
www.carr.com
PN: 501020
Carr’s 24-in. work truck step is a hands-free step that provides safe and secure access to the side of a truck.
 
Carriage Works Billet Accessories
’11 Chevy HD
816/966-1405
www.carriageworksinc.com
PN: 3804
A ’11 Chevy heavy-duty bolt-over wire mesh grille fits all models. Provides show-quality customized appearance at an affordable price.
 
CargoBuckle
Mini G3
317/896-9531
www.cargobuckle.com
PN: F103745
The CargoBuckle Mini G3 retractable ratchet tie-down system takes the hassle out of securing gear. Six feet of 1-in. webbing enables users to tie down more equipment in more applications, conveniently and securely. Just hook, ratchet and go!
         

Cognito Motorsports
FSLK100430
661/588-8085
www.cognitomotorsports.com
PN: FSLK100430
Front non-torsion-bar drop 4- to 6-in. suspension lift system for ’11–present GM eight-lug trucks and SUVs.
 
Cognito Motorsports
Support Kit
661/588-8085
www.cognitomotorsports.com
PN: PISK3008
Pitman/idler-arm support kit for ’11–present GM eight-lug trucks.
 
Cognito Motorsports
Control Arm
661/588-8085
www.cognitomotorsports.com
PN: UCAK100051
Upper control arm kit for ’11–present GM eight-lug trucks.
         

Big Time Auto Parts/Austin Int’l
BT-410RAW LED Taillight
+886-6-2663121
www.bigtime.com.tw
PN: BT-410 RAW LED
Tail Lamp Designed for OEM and aftermarket. Four multi-functions: turn signal /driving / brake /reverse. Includes 28 pieces RAW LEDs. Voltage system: 12V/24V. ABS housing and reflector.
 
Cognito Motorsports
YR+6-Arm-Kit
661/588-8085
www.cognitomotorsports.com
PN: YR+6-ARM-KIT
Yamaha Rhino ’04–present 6-in.-longer arm, long-travel suspension system.
 
Comeup Industries Inc.
DS-9.5rsi Self-Recovery Winch
+886-2-2694-7011
www.comeupwinch.com
PN: 293244
Comeup DS-9.5rsi is a powerful and fast electric winch. New generation with innovative features make it absolutely brilliant. Incredible, submersible, sealed DS-series self-recovery winch.

 

       

Convert-A-Ball Dist.
Super-Duty Cushioned Ball Mount
308/254-7115
www.convert-a-ball.net
PN: AMSC-V2
Super-duty cushioned ball mount fits in 21/2-in. receiver hitch. Rated at 18,000 lbs. GVW; 2,000 lbs. GTW. Internal polyurethane cushions act as a shock absorber.

 

Coplus Inc.
Skull Mirror Cover
+886-6-265-5599
www.scoo.com.tw
PN: 9501001
Skull mirror covers present innovative looks through 3-D skull and flame designs. Amber LED lights inlaid into skulls’ eyes will flash along with turn signals.

 

Couplemate
Brake Controller
775/219-7708
www.couplemate.com
PN: CM710
Mounts under dash/on the trailer. Multiple vehicles can tow a trailer with electric brakes. This break controller is ideal to control from one to three axles.

 

View all Truck, SUV & Off-Road Products and Expert Comments on PDF

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