SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 17, April 26, 2012

Truck, SUV and Off-Road: Hot Products and Industry Insight

SEMA News—April 2012

NEW PRODUCTS
By Steve Campbell

Truck, SUV & Off-Road New Products

Snapshot: Truck Market on The Upswing

America is reviving its traditional love affair with the light-truck, SUV and off-roading segments. With experts predicting a third consecutive year of rising auto sales in 2012, the light-truck category seems to be leading the way. The Ford F-Series and the Chevrolet Silverado again ranked first and second, respectively, among the top ten vehicles sold last year. Meanwhile, Jeep continued its strong comeback for Chrysler. Many experts credit pent-up consumer demand, while others read from the figures tentative signs of economic recovery. Either way, the growth is welcome.

Of course, this news will probably come as no surprise to 2011 SEMA Show attendees. Buyer-registrants expressing an interest in the Truck/SUV/Van segment were up by nearly 20% over the prior year. Meanwhile, the off-roading category attracted even more buyer interest, rising by more than 22%. Among exhibitors, the South Hall saw 277 booths representing the Truck/SUV/Off-Road category—up nearly 5%—with 64 first-time exhibitors contributing to that steady expansion. All in all, the section encompassed 121,660 square feet of rugged innovation exuding high traffic and optimism.

The following pages offer another glimpse at the Show’s Ideas Alive: New Products Showcase entries dedicated to truck, SUV and off-road applications. You’ll also find interviews with key industry executives analyzing the latest trends within these segments. A common thread is an upbeat feeling for overall product sales, especially among those manufacturing off-roading items. Certainly, there are areas of caution. Regulation and a sluggish economy continue to be concerns and some product categories are still clearly outperforming others. However, after several challenging years, even cautiously positive projections offer just the sort of good news the industry has been waiting to hear.


View more than 250 Truck & SUV Products and expert testimonials debuted at the 2011 SEMA Show.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products2 Cube It
Structure Rear Carrier Bag
937-695-9902
www.2cubeit.com
PN: 8962306

2 Cube It innovation for rear carriers. Need added space for comfort? 2 Cube It delivers. Holds shape full or empty.

AMP Research
Bedxtender HD
800-309-6823
www.amp-research.com
PN: 74501-00A

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsThe all-new Bedxtender HD by AMP Research.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsARB 4x4 Accessories Maximum Airflow Portable Compressor 888-427-2872 www.arbusa.com
PN: CKMTP12

ARB’s twin-motor compressor was designed as a compact, performance tool that will meet high-volume air inflation requirements and run power tools. 100% duty cycle; 6.16 cfm.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

All Sales Manufacturing Inc./AMI
Billet Emblem
916-933-0236
www.allsalesmfg.com

Replacement grille and body emblems for Ford and Dodge trucks. Several styles and finishes to choose from.

 

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsBolt Locks
Toolbox Lock Retrofit Kit
414-247-3333
www.boltlock.com
PN: 7022630

Replacement toolbox latch kit with a patented Bolt lock that works with the truck key. Learns the key code the first time you turn it!

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

Runner Up—Best New Exterior Accessory Product

Bestop Inc.
TrekStep Side-
Mounted Step
800-845-3567
www.bestop.com
PN: 75400-15

Bestop’s TrekStep side-mounted, spring-loaded step provides convenient access to toolboxes and gear in the truck bed. Features a 400-pound load capacity with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

Big Time Auto Parts/Austin International Manufacturing Inc.
886-6-2663121
www.bigtime.com.tw
PN: BT-431

Designed for OEM and aftermarket; four multi-functions; 20 pcs; 12V/24V LEDs; ABS housing and reflector RYW LEDs.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsCarriage Works Inc.
Super Duty Mesh Grille
816-966-1405
www.carriageworksinc.com PN: 3918

2011 Ford Super Duty 3D mesh grille. Provides show-quality customized appearance at an affordable price.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsBushwacker Inc.
GMC Extend-A-Fender Flare
503-283-4335
www.bushwacker.com
PN: 40952-02

Unique three-in-one design covers multiple applications, offering flexibility for various bumpers while adding style, tire coverage and protection in an easy-to-install application.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsBubba Rope
Tree Hugger
877-499-8494
www.bubbarope.com
PN: 176000OR

The Tree Hugger protects winch lines and trees during off-road vehicle recovery. Made from 100% polyester webbing, breaking strength of 58,000 pounds. Includes a tough, Cordura jacket, reduced eyelets, stitched-in label and duffle bag.

 

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

Carriage Works Inc.
Hot Rod Muffler
816-966-1405
www.carriageworksinc.com
PN: 50721

Stainless steel hot rod muffler for the custom car, truck or hot rod application. Available in 31/2-inch-diameter body 30 inches long, with inlets/outlets in 2-, 21/4- and 2 1/2-inch diameters.

 

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsBosal USA Inc.
Detachable Trailer Hitch
973-240-2227
www.bosalna.com

Car manufacturers invest heavily in the design of their cars. A fixed tow hitch upsets the balance and symmetry of the car’s original design. Bosal says its detachable tow bars are the answer, because they can easily be removed when not needed, leaving the line of the car as the designer intended.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

Competition 4x4
Dual Shear Tire Carrier
Hinge Kit
801-798-8403
www.comp4x4.com
PN: DIY012DSB

Dual shear tire carrier hinge kit is a complete hinge-kit solution for fabricators and manufacturers. Fully customizable to fit a company’s needs, including laser logo.

AMP Research
Bedxtender HD
800-309-6823
www.amp-research.com
PN: 74501-00A

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsThe all-new Bedxtender HD by AMP Research.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

Convert-A-Ball Manufacturing
Adjustable Cushioned Fifth-Wheel to
Gooseneck Adapter C5G
308-254-7115
www.convert-a-ball.net
PN: C5G

C5G cushioned adapter adjusts infinitely from 12 to 16 inches, allowing the use of a gooseneck ball to tow a fifth-wheel trailer. Installs in minutes.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

Extreme Max Products
Gas Can Holder
651-303-1035
www.extrememax.com
PN: 5400.344

The gas can holder is designed to hold gas cans, utility jugs and propane tanks securely without the use of bungees, tie-down straps or rope.

 

Charley Holden, Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products,Virtual racing chair provides the ultimate experience in gaming/racing chairs. Available with or without racing seat and optional monitor mount. Electronic game components sold separately. Contractors still need toolboxes, liners, steps, racks and bed covers for their pickups, and van sales are coming back. Business has increased in van racks, shelving and interior packages. In addition, more consumers and contractors are towing, which has led to increased sales of hitches, wiring and suspension products. The Ford F-150 V6 with Ecoboost has shown great performance in its ability to tow, and midsize pickups such as the Toyota Tacoma are very popular. Let’s hope Ford brings the UK Ranger to the U.S.!

The most significant trends in SUVs include interior and exterior protection along with the increased ability to carry more cargo, with crossovers outselling larger fullsize SUVs. Rooftop boxes and hitch baskets are also hot items.

Internet retailers, automobile manufacturers and industry suppliers are all looking for their share of the retail market and continue to take away sales from traditional retailers. Consumers have become extremely well educated by the Internet even before they come to our location, and they often dictate the sale. The greatest opportunity a dealer has is to go out and work the business and not wait for business to come to you. Fleet and export sales help to increase volume.

—Charley Holden
President, Cap World Inc.

Donnie Eatherly, Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsOverall, the market seems to be stabilized. We’ve seen a pretty nice bump in sales for the fourth quarter, and I think consumers are ready to loosen up a little and start spending on accessories again.

I am surprised at how well the bed-cover category is doing in the pickup market. I’m anxious to see how well the new Undercover painted program is going to do. If we move even 10% of the units painted that we move in that category overall, it will be a pretty good addition for us.

As vehicle technology increases and consumers have more choices in the way they can make purchases, it will be very important for salespeople to be knowledgeable about the products they are selling.

When you’re competing with online retailers and the growing number of “me too” brands, dealers who are well educated about their product offerings will have the best opportunity for growth.

SEMA offers great professional learning tracks, and PWA has a whole range of product-specific lessons. With consumers armed with as much product information and technology as most main-street retailers, one of the biggest hurdles will be defining and retaining your value proposition in the marketplace.

—Donnie Eatherly
President and Co-Owner, P&E Distributors

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

Fastway Trailer Products
Zip Coiled Breakaway Cable
877-523-9103
www.fastwaytrailer.com
PN: 80-01-2140

Zip replaces the old, frayed breakaway cable. Easy to attach, and its coiled and coated design keeps it from dragging, fraying and stabbing fingers.

 

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsFastway Trailer Products
4-Inch Flip Automatic Jack Foot
877-523-9103
www.fastwaytrailer.com
PN: 88-00-4500

The 4-inch Flip automatically tucks up and drops down as the user cranks the trailer jack. Eliminates wood block hassles. Engineered specifically for lower trailers.

 

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsFyrlyt Pty. Ltd.
Fyrlyt
+61 8 8365 4668
www.fyrlyt.com.au
PN: 16024

Pronounced “Firelight,” the new Australian driving light company with a single focus: design engineering excellence. Boasting better than HID performance, the Fyrlyt 200 is said to set new benchmarks in high-performance driving light design.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsFox Racing Shox
2.0 Performance Series Shocks
619-768-1800
www.foxracingshox.com

The all-new FOX Racing Shox 2.0 performance series shocks deliver race-dominating performance in an affordable, hassle-free, bolt-on
package for all popular trucks and SUVs.

 

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsGo Rhino! Products/Big Country Truck
4-Inch Oval Hitchstep
888-427-4466
www.gorhino.com
PN: 460PS

This new, extra-wide step is designed to offer easy access to any truck bed, SUV or roof rack. Compatible with 2-inch receivers, this patented design also offers protection in the event of a collision. The 24-inch-long step comes with an anti-rattle device; no tools required.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsHusky Liners
Bed Caps
620-221-2268
www.huskyliners.com
PN: 97101

A patent-pending, multi-piece, hidden-seam design ships at half the size of other bulky bed rail caps, taking up less warehouse and showroom floor space.

 

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsWinner—Best New Van/Pickup/Sport-Utility Product

EZ Connector Inc.
EZS7-02
559-686-5889
www.ezconnector.com
PN: EZS7-02

The vehicle/trailer plug has a waterproof O-ring-sealed, self-closing cover; magnetically attached, spring-loaded face-to-face contacts; plug-n-play and self-closing watertight trailer plug storage.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsKing Shock Technology
Raptor Replacement Shocks
714-530-8701
www.kingshocks.com
PN: 30001-401

Huge 3.0-inch bolt-on shocks are designed to be tuneable to give Raptors unparalleled damping control. Features 20-position compression adjuster in front, and external bypass adjustment in rear.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsLoop EZ
Pet Securing System
360-482-4180
www.loop-ez.com
PN: PSS7/8

A safe way to secure the user’s pet in a truck bed with the existing holes provided by the manufacturer.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

King Shock Technology
3-Inch IBP Shocks
714-530-8701
www.kingshocks.com
PN: RS3010-SS-IBP

Huge 3.0-inch monotube, internal bypass. Advanced position and velocity-sensitive valving. Choice of coil-over or smoothie. Race-proven bypass technology in a compact, durable package.

 

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsPoly Performance Manufacturing
Jeep Ball Joints
805-242-0397
www.synergysuspension.com
PN: PPM-8009-12-01

Designed to replace the factory ball joint to help avoid failure on lifted Jeeps/trucks/buggies with large off-road tires. Fully greasable sintered metal on bushing design that has high wear resistance.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

Fastway Trailer Products
6-Inch Flip Automatic Jack Foot
877-523-9103
www.fastwaytrailer.com
PN: 88-00-6500

The 6-inch Flip automatically tucks up and drops down as the user cranks the trailer jack. Eliminates wood block hassles. Engineered specifically for lower trailers.

 

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

Omix-Ada/Rugged Ridge
Quick-Release Mirrors for Jeep
770-614-6101
www.omix-ada.com
PN: 11025.1

Quick-release mirrors for 1997-2012 Jeep Wranglers.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

Omix-Ada/Rugged Ridge
Slip Yoke Eliminator Kit
770-614-6101
www.omix-ada.com
PN: 11400

Slip yoke eliminator kit for NP231 transfer cases by Alloy USA.

 

Christian Hazel, Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsThe Jeep market is extraordinarily hot and has actually seen growth in many areas. We’re seeing more and more enthusiasts flock to new Wranglers from other brands. Likewise, many enthusiasts are coming to Jeep from rock-crawl or sand buggies because they serve more than one function: You can hit hardcore trails in your four-door JK with the whole family over the weekend and then commute to work in it during the week.

For ‘07-present Wranglers, the most popular modifications are a simple lift with coil spacers and aftermarket shocks to allow larger 33- to 35-inch tires on aftermarket wheels. A large number of enthusiasts also step up to short- or long-arm suspension systems to clear 35- to 40-inch tires. Further enhancements include front winch bumpers, winches, rocker armor and rear tire carrier bumpers.

Those wishing to retain their 3.8L JK engines clamor for upgrades such as cold-air intakes, headers, after-cat exhaust systems and electronic programmers to bolster the power output and control or bypass factory functions like electronic sway-bar actuation, locker engagement, turning off the ESP and other features.

Overall, we’re seeing lighter, smarter products that deliver protection off-road without a daily-driving weight penalty at the pump.

—Christian Hazel
Editor, Jp Magazine

Christian Hazel, Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsOne area of growth has been what I call the “value alternative.” In many cases, there is a dominant brand within a given category that typically has been around for a long time and has cultivated strong consumer demand. This brand typically carries a premium price point and low profit margins. We’ve seen a growth in brands that offer a quality product at a lower price point with higher profit margins and profit dollars.

The challenge for distributors is that strong competition has diminished profit margins. Distributors can sell this “value alternative” product at a lower price point and make more money. It is not good for the name brand (unless it offers the “value alternative”), but the distributor and consumer walk away satisfied.

Success these days is being had by those who are willing to search beyond the norm. An overall positive buying experience is necessary to keep customers on either the wholesale or retail side. Fit the products you offer to the business model you have. Or change the business model to fit the products you are selling. Consumers have more outlets to source the products they want, and they will gravitate to the companies that satisfy their desires.

—Jerry Nuñez
President, Innovative Marketing Services, LLC

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsOmix-Ada/Rugged Ridge
All-Terrain Front Floor Liners
770-614-6101
www.omix-ada.com
PN: 12920.29

Custom-fit all-terrain floor liners for 2011-2012 Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Durango.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

Pop & Lock Corp.
Colorado/Canyon Tailgate Lock
800-342-5911
www.popandlock.net
PN: Pl1700

New Pop & Lock tailgate lock available in chrome or black. Fits Colorado/Canyon/Dmax 2005 and up. Replaces complete factory handle and bezel assembly.

 

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New ProductsOmix-Ada/Rugged Ridge
Upgraded Transfer Case Drivetrain
770-614-6101
www.omix-ada.com
PN: 11650

Alloy USA upgraded drivetrain chain for Jeep vehicles.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

Omix-Ada/Rugged Ridge
Ring and Pinion, 4.10 Ratio for Jeep JK Wrangler by Alloy USA
770-614-6101
www.omix-ada.com
PN: D44410JK

Alloy USA ring-and-pinion sets for Jeep JK Wranglers offer strength and restore performance when installing larger tires. Made for Dana 44, 4.10 ratio.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

Phoenix Design & Manufacturing LLC
Illuma Step
888-789-2550
www.phoenixdesignmfg.com
PN: H022102

Factory OE-look lighted running board. Available in stainless steel and powder-coat black. The 6-inch-wide step is safer than regular tube steps. Slip-resistant rubber step area. Stylish molded end caps add streamline appeal. Easy-install mounting brackets.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

Pop & Lock Corp.
Mitsubishi Tailgate Lock
905-734-7111
www.popandlock.net
PN: PL3700

New Pop & Lock tailgate lock available in chrome or black. Fits Mitsubishi L200, 2006 and up. Replaces complete factory handle and bezel assembly.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

Pop & Lock Corp.
Mitsubishi Tailgate Lock
905-734-7111
www.popandlock.net
PN: PL3700

New Pop & Lock tailgate lock available in chrome or black. Fits Mitsubishi L200, 2006 and up. Replaces complete factory handle and bezel assembly.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

Pro Comp/G2/Smittybilt/Rubicon Express
80 Series Wheel
800-776-0767
www.procompusa.com
PN: 36 series

High-performance alloy wheel with a super-strong split five-spoke design and race-inspired simulated bead lock.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

ProRyde Suspension Systems
LiftMachine Adjustable Lift/Leveling Kit
888-813-7933
www.proryde.com
PN: 74-Series

One kit, lift options from 1.5 to 3.0 inches, varying by make and model. Whether it’s bigger tire and wheel combinations you’re after, or an aggressive, lifted look, ProRyde says that its products are your adjustable choice.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

Protective Polymers LLC
ProSkins
918-764-9502
www.protectivepolymers.com

ProSkins were developed for the aftermarket truck accessories world. ProSkins are manufactured using tough, durable, spray-on bed liner material. ProSkins are said to deliver ultimate performance against impact and corrosion for all types of metal or painted surfaces.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

ReadyLift Suspension Inc.
Off-Road Suspension Upper Control Arms
702-410-2300
www.readylift.com

Tab and slot boxed plate arm construction. Teflon-lined 1-inch uniball for the outer pivot. Urethane bushings for the inner pivot. 4340 heat-treated conversion pin.

Automobile Events, Offroad Business, Offroad Distributor, Automotive Trade Show, Truck New Products

RBP/Rolling Big Power, a Division of Lexani
The Grappler Tow Hook
877-519-9090
www.rollingbigpower.com
PN: 990001

The Grappler tow hook/step.

 


View more than 250 Truck & SUV Products and expert testimonials debuted at the 2011 SEMA Show.

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