SEMA News

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Cover Section

  • Warm up your TV and mark your calendar for 8:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday, March 8. That’s the date and time set for the premiere airing of the one-hour SEMA Battle of the Builders program on the Velocity Network—an in-depth TV event promising to focus new consumer attention on the creativity, products and vehicle builds of the annual SEMA Show.

    “We’re extremely excited about the upcoming debut airing of our very first SEMA Battle of the Builders competition,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “A lot of thought and hard work went into both the competition and the television production.

Business Technology

  • 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.Stuff CEOs and Sales Managers Really Need to Know

    Think about the last time you personally went to the web to research a potential purchase—and remember that, according to the latest Google research, more than 77% of potential buyers of our products do just that. What were the things that led you to a particular product, brand or even place to buy?

Events

  • Warm up your TV and mark your calendar for 8:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday, March 8. That’s the date and time set for the premiere airing of the one-hour SEMA Battle of the Builders program on the Velocity Network—an in-depth TV event promising to focus new consumer attention on the creativity, products and vehicle builds of the annual SEMA Show.

    “We’re extremely excited about the upcoming debut airing of our very first SEMA Battle of the Builders competition,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “A lot of thought and hard work went into both the competition and the television production.

  • Charities and Student Builders Benefit From an Exciting SEMA Garage Project

    The ’15 Omix-ADA Jeep Wrangler JK Sport featured at this past November’s SEMA Show has sold for $85,000 to benefit SEMA Cares charities. The sale came on the Barrett-Jackson auction block on Wednesday, January 16, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Known as the Rugged Ridge/SEMA Cares Jeep, the upfitted, dirt-ready vehicle was originally procured with funds from a 2013 Omix-ADA donation and contained a total of $30,000 in aftermarket parts and accessories from other donor companies, including Falken Tire, Super Chips, Rugged Ridge and Kicker. It was also clad in custom paint by Theresa Contreras from LGE-CTS Motorsports. Perhaps most notably, however, it was customized through a collaboration with the Alex Xydias Center (AXC) for Automotive Arts, in which a team of AXC students modified the standard four-door JK at the new SEMA Garage facility in Diamond Bar, California. All of the proceeds from the Jeep’s auction will go to benefit Childhelp America and Victory Junction.

  • SEMA Ignited closed out the week of the 2014 SEMA Show with an afterparty like no other, and a public tribute to the best car builders on the planet. As the Convention Center doors closed and the trade-only Show ended on Friday, hundreds of custom vehicles roared to life, forming the now-traditional SEMA Cruise.

    This year’s exit parade had a different destination, however—straight down Paradise Road and on to The LINQ in Las Vegas. With the high-roller observation wheel in the background, the world’s first car show that exclusively featured cars from the SEMA Show opened to the public. Enthusiasts were over-the-moon about the chance to get up close and pose next to cars built by true automotive legends.

  • Additive manufacturing was front and center at the recent SEMA Show in Las Vegas, with Local Motors “3D printing” its Strati car on the Show floor for the SEMA Cruise.Some Insights From the Annual SEMA Show

    What are some of the latest trends hitting the aftermarket in 2015? If you were in Las Vegas this past November for the annual SEMA Show, you likely already have some answers to that question. There’s no better barometer than the Show to preview the hottest products and innovations taking hold of consumers. The following are just a few of the latest trends that SEMA News editors observed not only grabbing attention on the Show floor itself but also in post-Show media wrap-ups afterward.

From The Hill

  • From left: SEMA Chairman-Elect Doug Evans, U.S. Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA), David Algire of The Enthusiast Network, and SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting.The Future Is Now

    What do a car dealer, a former Navy SEAL commander and a financial advisor have in common? They were all recently elected to serve in the U.S. Congress. As a result of the November midterm elections, a lot of new faces have arrived in the nation’s capital. Fifty-eight first-timers were elected to the House of Representatives and 13 to the U.S. Senate. Among them are the future champions of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. While sorting through all of the new names may seem daunting, here are a few to keep an eye on.

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 Acadia

    The GMC Acadia is reportedly moving to GM’s new Chi architecture, which is said to result in a slightly downsized crossover.

    Nissan Maxima Sport.

    This new Nissan Maxima test car has less camouflage around key elements of the design, including its C pillar and side-window profile.

  • Breaking news from SEMA member companies, including Lucas Oil Products, Turn 14 Distribution, Luken Communications, Champion Oil and more.

  • Take a Tour of the SEMA Garage

    SEMA members are invited to take free tours of the SEMA Garage and enjoy breakfast through three SEMA Garage Tour dates—March 3, 10 and 17. The tours, which will take place on each of the dates from 9:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m., will take members through the Garage to learn of the tools available to developed and market products faster and more cost effectively.

    Key Exhibitor Dates for the 2015 SEMA Show

    SEMA Show management has announced several key dates for companies interested in exhibiting at the 2015 SEMA Show, November 3–6, in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Member News

  • SEMA Scholarships CommitteeThe deadline is approaching for the SEMA Memorial Scholarship and Loan Forgiveness program, with applications due Wednesday, April 1. Each year, the scholarship fund gives resources to students pursuing automotive careers in a variety of areas, from accounting to manufacturing. Scholarship awards range from $2,000 to $3,000, with $5,000 going to the top individual. In 2014, 45 students were awarded scholarships, and 17 current employees of SEMA-member companies received $2,000 loan-forgiveness awards.

  • The Young Executives Network (YEN) held its first live chat with Formula Drift founder and CEO Jim Liaw. The live chat was held on October 24, 2014, via the YEN Facebook page and was a huge success. Questions came from YEN members far and wide and featured many topics, and they brought insights into the growth and continued success of aftermarket companies. Much of the focus was on how to get the most out of a company’s SEMA Show investment.

  • The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) hosted the Gear Up Girl networking event for the fourth time at the 2014 SEMA Show. The gathering provides a unique opportunity created for the benefit of female students pursuing careers in the automotive industry.

  • Manufacturers Representative Network (MRN) - SEMA CouncilManufacturers Representative Network (MRN) - SEMA CouncilWhen factories outsource the sales function to reps, they do not abdicate responsibility in the field. Yes, the rep becomes the face of the factory in the territory. Yes, reps are the primary contact with the customer. And yes, the factory needs to provide technical training on its product to its reps.

  • Emerging Trends and Technology Network (ETTN) - SEMA CouncilJoin the Network for Upcoming Professional Development Programs

    Ten Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN) members recently participated in a professional development program designed to enhance their leadership skills, improve task skills and provide insight into the latest trends and technical advancements. The Social Media Strategies Summit was the first of three events for 2015, held at the beginning of February at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada.

  • The Wheel and Tire Council (WTC) recently caught up with a couple of new members to learn more about their companies and their experiences in the industry. Meet Ann Fladger of Allure Custom Automotive and Steve Hamilton of AnthemWheels.com.

  • Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) - SEMA CouncilThe Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) recently released the second edition of the “PRO Sales Training Manual,” a resource designed to help restylers, trimmers and accessory retailers build more successful dealer-direct sales strategies. The original idea for the resource came about at a long-range planning meeting a decade ago.

  • Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) - SEMA CouncilThe Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) pursued a wide-ranging agenda at the 2014 Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show held December 11–13 in Indianapolis. The first-ever MPMC open meeting was held on the Wednesday before the show and featured SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) Membership Director Jim Graven, who shared how manufacturers can benefit from organizing their product data through the SDC.

  • Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) - SEMA CouncilOn the Monday prior to the 2014 SEMA Show, the Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) hosted a Media Preview, giving nearly 200 journalists a head start on their truck, SUV and off-road coverage for the week. The goal was to allow council members to meet one on one with media reps, making contacts and introducing new products without sacrificing valuable floor time with buyers.

    Each of the 18 manufacturer participants was chosen from an application pool by lottery to set up temporary exhibit space within the Media Center in the Las Vegas Convention Center

  • Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) - SEMA CouncilThe Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) has been hard at work behind the scenes over the past few months. Quite a few exciting changes are in store for the group, as the leadership has solicited feedback from members to determine the future focus and goals of the council.

    The council’s goal-setting process began more than a year ago when members met to discuss the group’s priorities at a general membership meeting during the 2013 SEMA Show. Taking attendees’ concerns into careful consideration, the select committee met again this past fall to discuss the question, “Who is ARMO?” The committee also took a survey designed to illuminate the strengths of the group

  • The SEMA Garage provides SEMA-member businesses with access to the high-tech tools and equipment they need to get their products off the drawing board and into customers’ hands, whether they’re accessories or performance products. It is the only known facility of its kind in the United States, and manufacturers are invited to visit the garage to view the possibilities firsthand.

    A total of 12 VIP Tours with about 15 guests each were scheduled for 2015. The currently scheduled dates are March 3, 10 and 17, with more to follow through the month of June. Each tour will last from 9:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m., beginning with a breakfast. Members will then be led on a tour of the Garage, including demonstrations of the FaroArm coordinate measuring machine and...

Racing And Performance

  • Racing and Performance Products From the SEMA Show

    For buyers, attending the SEMA Show is all about identifying next year’s hottest products. In the racing and performance section of the Show, exhibitors thrilled attendees submitting more than 800 new products to the annual New Product Showcase. The entries ran the gamut from turbochargers and exhausts to performance tuning and diagnostic tools.

Required Reading

  • Exhibitors participate in the SEMA Show primarily to connect with buyers from throughout the world. The main objective of the exhibitor is to sell and promote products, and journalists are often attracted to the innovations that appear at the SEMA Show.

Retail Store Review

  • Rory Rodgers, who handles sales and marketing, stressed the importance of always stocking at least a few lines of inventory to keep wait times down. Founded by Alex Shen 18 years ago, SP Engineering began as a tuner shop in a humble 4,800-sq.-ft. facility with three employees in City of Industry, California. The company has since expanded into retail with a 13,000-sq.-ft. facility, five lifts and 13 employees.

    Business has changed drastically for SP Engineering since the Nissan GT-R launched in 2008. The company previously worked with a mixture of Japanese cars and European exotics, including the 2JZ, RX7, 350Z and V12 Lamborghini. Since 2008, the GT-R has represented about 90% of SP Engineering’s market.

SEMA Heritage

  • Not to be confused with the billet grilles that took off in the ’80s, bullet grille treatments were a hot modification trend in the late ’50s. So hot, in fact, that Car Craft magazine put a custom ’55 Chevy with a close-up of its sparkling bullet grille on the cover of its December 1959 issue.

    The how-to story inside demonstrated how easy the pieces were to install, thanks to several bullet grille kits that had hit the market. California Custom Accessories in Los Angeles offered three different kits, with 24, 36 or 42 bullets, at prices ranging from $30 to $55. (The 36-piece kit was used for the Chevy featured in the story.)