SEMA News

  • sema-news-2015-04-cover.jpg

Cover Section

  • SEMA’s Vice President of Vehicle Technology on the State of Advanced Vehicle Technology

    Today’s cars, trucks and the auto industry and performance aftermarket as a whole are being reinvented, restructured and re-envisioned. Cars are quickly moving from standalone mechanical products to smart electronic products and connected smart products in what might be called Auto 3.0, the Third Automotive Revolution. Not since the beginning of the industry have we seen such disruption in how cars are designed, developed, customized, sold, serviced and owned. Vehicles drive themselves, avoid accidents and connect to their owners’ digital lifestyles. They produce lower emissions, go faster and are safer, smarter and cooler than ever.

Business

  • Truck’n America specializes in truck accessory product sales and installationsThe Truck’n America Family Goes the Extra Mile to Service Clients

    Truck’n America—headquartered in a 10,000-sq.-ft. facility in Waldorf, Maryland, with 25 employees and six locations in the Maryland and Virginia area—has been a family-run business for more than 40 years. The team is currently led by Chuck Morrison IV and his brother Dan.

    Morrison’s father and grandfather were from Indiana, which was considered “truck-cap central” at the time. They brought truck caps down to Maryland and sold them out of a crab shack they rented in Waldorf.

  • The first-ever SEMA Battle of the Builders television special is set to air at 8:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday, March 8, on the Velocity Network. Months of filming went into the production, culminating on a live stage at the SEMA Ignited afterparty this past November in Las Vegas.Compass Points for Specialty-Equipment Companies

    Business trends reveal themselves in a host of incarnations, and we seek each year to ferret out those that pertain to the automotive specialty-equipment aftermarket. The SEMA Show, new-vehicle sales, educational tendencies and other indicators may reveal significant industry developments—or at least give savvy professionals some compass points to steer by. We hope that the following areas of interest help with the navigation.

Business Technology

  • Three High-Tech Tools to Advance Small Product Innovators

    For medium to large specialty-equipment manufacturers, the concepts of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) are not likely to come as anything new. Over the past few decades, most companies with the capital have been investing in these evolving technologies to create and speed new products to market. What’s new on today’s scene is the trickle-down of increasingly cost-effective CAD/CAM solutions into the hands of smaller companies and even individual product designers and manufacturers—a phenomenon that may well make them ever more competitive with the big guys.

  • Jon Wyly, CEO of the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC), has assembled a handpicked team of industry veterans to grow and take the co-op in exciting new directions, including the launch of SEMA Search.I was talking to an old friend who runs a specialty performance distribution business, and he said, “You know, it just seems like nobody talks to each other on the phone any more.” Yep, e-mail has changed the way we communicate. The same sentiment can be heard in brick-and-mortar stores across the country in the form of, “You know, people don’t come into the store like they used to.”

    There’s no question that the Internet has changed the way we do business as well. So what’s the common thread that is replacing the long-standing virtues of face-to-face business, customer relationships and loyalty? If you ask me, it’s technology.

  • SEMA’s Vice President of Vehicle Technology on the State of Advanced Vehicle Technology

    Today’s cars, trucks and the auto industry and performance aftermarket as a whole are being reinvented, restructured and re-envisioned. Cars are quickly moving from standalone mechanical products to smart electronic products and connected smart products in what might be called Auto 3.0, the Third Automotive Revolution. Not since the beginning of the industry have we seen such disruption in how cars are designed, developed, customized, sold, serviced and owned. Vehicles drive themselves, avoid accidents and connect to their owners’ digital lifestyles. They produce lower emissions, go faster and are safer, smarter and cooler than ever.

  • Jon Wyly, CEO of the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC), has assembled a handpicked team of industry veterans to grow and take the co-op in exciting new directions, including the launch of SEMA Search.The SEMA Data Co-op has become “data central” for hundreds of specialty parts brands, representing millions of part numbers, and tens of millions of vehicle applications. This directory is designed to guide data users to brands that have successfully undertaken the challenge to manage their product data, and to be a continually expanding reference as more brands are added to the SDC repository.

Chris Kersting

  • Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO It’s only April, but contracts for SEMA Show booth space are rapidly accumulating, and the staff has been busy preparing for booth selection, planning innovative Show features and securing discount programs to help our participants avoid unnecessary costs. With all this activity afoot, the 2015 SEMA Show is looking to be another outstanding event. That’s why now is the time to be laying the foundation for a successful SEMA Show, especially for exhibitors.

    One important deadline is coming up April 6, which is the cutoff date for exhibitors to register for Priority Booth Selection. This year’s priority selection process begins...

Events

  • The 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) provided a look at the latest vehicle creations auto manufacturers are developing or introducing during the year.The 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) provided a look at the latest vehicle creations auto manufacturers are developing or introducing during the year. For the specialty-equipment industry’s manufacturers, industry influencers and opinion leaders, seeing the car and truck introductions provides an idea of what OEM product strategists think will attract consumers in dealer’s showrooms.

    Here is a snapshot of the cars and trucks on display at this year’s NAIAS that members will want to keep an eye on for potential upgrade opportunities. We can foresee a number of recent introductions showing up at cruise nights, track days, road courses, dragstrips and off-road venues in the near future.

From The Hill

  • One Year Later, Legislative Accord Preserves OHV Recreation

    The ninth annual King of the Hammers was held once again this February in California’s Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Recreational Area. More than 430 teams in four vehicle classes competed during a week-long event witnessed by at least 55,000 spectators and more than 750,000 online viewers. The event culminated in the one-day “Ultra4” race in which vehicles constructed for their speed and rock-climbing abilities raced across a 215-mile course of open desert and steep ravines.

Government Affairs

  • Law and Order is an update of some of the most recent federal and state legislative and regulatory issues that could potentially impact the automotive specialty-equipment industry. These include issues affecting small-business owners and their employees.

Industry News

  • GMC Canyon Denali

    The GMC Canyon Denali prototype’s camouflaged front end hides a revised all-mesh grille design that is consistent with GMC’s other Denali-trimmed models.

    ’16 Ferrari FF Prototype

    Caught in the Arctic Circle, photos of this prototype for the Ferrari FF reveal a revised front fascia for the Italian shooting brake.

  • Breaking news from SEMA member companies, including Motorcycle USA, AP Exhaust Technologies, Torklift International, Power Automedia, Advanced Clutch Technology and more.

  • Know the Three Types of SEMA Show Booths

    With the Priority Space Selection Process for the 2015 SEMA Show taking place May 4–22, exhibitors may want to begin planning what to feature in this year’s display. For decisions such as where to set up products, whether or not to conduct product demonstrations or to highlight a display vehicle, knowing the booth types will help companies plan accordingly.

    Low Rates on SEMA Show Airfare, Hotels

    Travelers preparing for the 2015 SEMA Show to be held Tuesday–Friday, November 3–6, are encouraged to take advantage of airline discounts and hotel deals through the Travel and Lodging page on www.SEMAShow.com.

     

International

  • This chart, courtesy of Ford Motor Co., identifies the countries that will receive the new Mustang. Good News for Worldwide Enthusiasts and U.S. Specialty-Equipment Manufacturers

    SEMA manufacturers know that the Ford Mustang is one of the most customized vehicles in the marketplace. This year marks the pony car’s 50th anniversary, and now it comes with a larger-than-ever attraction to those who wish to develop and market products for the highly accessorized musclecar,“ noted SEMA Vice President of OEM and Product Development Programs Mike Spagnola.

Internet

  • While search-engine optimization (SEO)—the art of optimizing a web property for the highest possible search-engine returns—is not dead, the antics of those looking to game the system pretty much are. The reason: During the past few years, Google has gone out of its way to aggressively thwart practitioners of “black hat” SEO techniques, to the point where their tricks and ruses have been mostly neutralized.For Bad Actors, Pretty Much

    While search-engine optimization (SEO)—the art of optimizing a web property for the highest possible search-engine returns—is not dead, the antics of those looking to game the system pretty much are. The reason: During the past few years, Google has gone out of its way to aggressively thwart practitioners of “black hat” SEO techniques, to the point where their tricks and ruses have been mostly neutralized.

    Specifically, Google’s updates to its search-engine algorithm, with code names such as...

New Products

  • New Gear From the SEMA Show

    The Trucks, SUVs & Off-Road section of the 2014 SEMA Show was dedicated to products engineered to tackle life’s harshest, and most exciting, terrain. For buyers who understand their customer’s passionate desire to shift into four-wheel drive, exhibitors unveiled hundreds of new SKUs with items ranging from tonneau covers and bedliners to toolboxes, trailer hitches and suspensions.

  • New Product announcements from McLeod Racing, Burns Stainless, DiabloSport, BDS Suspension and more.

Required Reading

  • While the SEMA Show is a trade event that is not open to the general public, thousands of journalists from around the world participate in it and serve as the eyes and ears for enthusiasts. These reporters work around the clock to scour the SEMA Show floor in search of standout products to share with their readers and viewers. Even if you were able to attend the 2014 SEMA Show, these publications are helpful in highlighting products that you may have missed. After all, there were more than 2,300 exhibitors and more than 1 million sq. ft. to cover. Take a look at some of the magazines that offered comprehensive coverage that you will not want to miss.

SEMA Heritage

  • The equipment may have changed, but many of the tips laid out in this October 1964 Car Craft magazine story on “Photographing Cars” are still worthwhile for anyone interested in taking better pictures of their cars (or trucks, hot rods, customs, sports cars, motorcycles, you name it). The equipment may have changed, but many of the tips laid out in this October 1964 Car Craft magazine story on “Photographing Cars” are still worthwhile for anyone interested in taking better pictures of their cars (or trucks, hot rods, customs, sports cars, motorcycles, you name it).

    The date on the photo job for this story was July 1964, making the subject Mustang a new car. The California hard license plate and Galpin Ford plate frame suggest that it was not a press vehicle but instead belonged...