By Linda Spencer
David Borla (far left), sales and marketing manager for Borla Performance, provided details on his company’s products to U.S. Ambassador Michael Corbin (dark suit) and Sheikh Salem Bin Abdulrahman Al Qassimi (front, center), director of the Office of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah.
Scott Sobie (right), sales manager of Mustang Dynamometer, talked with buyers from Abu Dhabi.
From L-R: Jason Mrachina, Dee Zee vice president of sales, met with Mahmoud Skhiri, senior commercial specialist for the U.S. Embassy in Doha, Qatar; Salih Hamid, Dee Zee’s export sales manager; and an unidentified buyer from Doha.
Register now for the 2015 SEMA Middle East Business Development Conference and get your products in front of key buyers from throughout the region. From March 24–28, 2015, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), join U.S. manufacturers of a wide array of street and off-road performance products, including specialty lights, performance air filters, sport exhaust systems, film protection, air intake systems, lubricants, dynamometers, running boards and toolboxes. Branding for participating exhibitors will be viewed by thousands of pre-vetted buyers in pre-event promotions and on regional websites.
New highlights for 2015 include:
- Exhibiting in the SEMA section at the customs show emirates.
- A day-long International Measuring Session providing participants access to popular overseas vehicles not sold in the United States.
- The show is based at an onsite hotel so that participants can walk to the convention center.
To give prospective 2015 attendees an idea of what to expect, check out last year's SEMA News article covering the trip, which includes a list of exhibitors. More information can be found at sema.org/middleeast, or by contacting Linda Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a one-on-one briefing on the trip's features. More than 160 pre-vetted buyers from 10 countries met with 42 SEMA-member exhibitors at the 2014 SEMA Middle East Business Development Conference.
What some of the participants from the 2014 SEMA Middle East had to say about the event:
“They love cars here. I would say they love cars just as much as we do in America, between the Raptor, the 4x4 industry and the American muscle that they are die-hard about. I talked to representatives from four or five shops during our visit that work on only American musclecars.”
—Chris Clark, director, Kooks Headers
“This is our very first time in the Middle East, ever, and it is way more than I expected. The level of infrastructure, the passion about motorsports, the sophistication of the speed shops we’ve visited—it’s every bit of what we have on Main Street USA, right here. It’s not anything I could have understood without being here, feeling it and seeing it.”
—Lake Speed Jr., general manager, Driven Racing Oil
“The Middle East represents a viable market filled with customers eager to buy American-made products. We were surprised by the quality of the vehicle builds and the knowledge of the people managing the stores we visited.”
—Jason Mrachina, vice president of sales and marketing, Dee Zee
“I’ve been impressed with the architecture we’ve seen and the reception that we’ve received. As far as doing business with Americans, it’s refreshing that they want the quality of our products genuinely and seem appreciative that we made the trip here to see them and their businesses and to understand their marketplace. The impression I’ve gotten is that they truly want to develop relationships with their suppliers, which is great.”
—Lisa Chissus, president, Flex-a-lite
“International growth is continuing to build our performance lubricant business. At Dubai this year, we gained relationships with warehouse distributors, dealers, jobbers and race teams. It’s a wildly active market, and this huge Middle East region is a great hub for high-end synthetic lubricants and motor oils. To properly manage this new business, Champion is adding partners to represent all of our lubricant lines and the growing demand in the region.”
—Karl Dedolph, director of international sales, Champion Oil
“Customer contact was great at the show, with qualified buyers who spoke perfect English and were ready to find distribution products. Customers in the Middle East are performance savvy and have almost a California-like relationship with their cars. All segments are represented.”
—Wayland “Butch” Cox, vice president of sales, Royal Purple Inc.