Business

The Truck Resurgence

What vehicle can be more American than a truck? Ever since Henry Ford introduced his first Model T in 1908, light trucks have been the vehicles of the masses, both at home and abroad. Powerful, sturdy, versatile and capable of almost anything, wherever they go, we work with them, play with them and return to them again and again when times are good. And right now, it seems, times are very good indeed.

 

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

ADASThe impact of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) is already being felt by the automotive specialty-equipment and collision-repair industries, raising new challenges and opportunities. In this interview, SEMA Vice President of Vehicle Technology John Waraniak shares some frontline insights regarding the current state of aftermarket preparedness, along with association efforts to educate and ready businesses for the rapid changes they face.

Targeting the Muscle Enthusiast

Muscle Car ReportFor a while, it seemed that American muscle had seen its heyday. By the ‘80s its so-called glory years had faded, displaced by growing consumer demand for compact fuel-sippers and practical sedans. But with recent advancements in turbocharging and other mileage-enhancing technologies, modern muscle is now ironically turning the tables on the traditional passenger car.

Rolling Toward the Future

Rolling Toward The FutureAs two of the most fundamental means to enhance a vehicle’s style and performance, aftermarket wheel and tire upgrades have always been an easy sell. They’re often the very first specialty items consumers add to their new vehicles and are nearly as popular for freshening older vehicles that are beginning to look and feel, well, mundane. While the wheel and tire market noticeably slowed during the recent economic downturn, the good news for 2019 is that it’s rolling forward again.

Charting Upward Growth

Coming off the recently concluded SEMA Show, it’s apparent that the industry is eager and primed for growth in the new year. But while the Show is always the ideal venue for spotting industry innovations, there are also broader factors at work shaping industry direction and individual business growth. Overall economic health, consumer confidence and new vehicle configurations are just a few of the trends that will impact SEMA-member businesses in 2019 and beyond, and connecting such dots for solid business planning is no small task.

Enhancing Product Data

SDCIn today’s increasingly digital world, there can be no doubt that robust manufacturer product data drives sales for everyone in the supply chain. When manufacturers standardize product data and include enhanced digital assets such as photos and video clips, they not only gain access to a wider range of resellers but also warehouse distributers, jobbers and retailers to sell more parts at a faster pace.

Trends and Challenges for 2019

CouncilSEMA News spoke with SEMA’s council and network leaders to find out what’s in store for the coming year, and to get their thoughts about the emerging trends and the challenges they can expect to face based on what their organizations are seeing in their respective marketplaces. Common themes included the responsibility to fight overly restrictive government regulations, continued concern regarding the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act, and the evolution of in-vehicle technologies, such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

3-D Printing in Metal

Metal 3DThose who recall the 1967 movie “The Graduate” will remember that the word was “plastics.” Plastics were the future, and that future reached a zenith in recent years with additive manufacturing machines that could “print” 3-D objects in shapely polymers. That future is changing, however, because the new industrial buzzword is “metals”—as in the ability to 3-D print them. But has that latest technology truly come of age? And, more importantly, should SEMA members rush to embrace it?

Alliant Insurance Services Delivers

Bob CorwinEvery aftermarket business—large or small, established or startup—needs commercial insurance coverage. Whether you’re a restyler, a jobber, a detailer, an accessory retailer or an installer, liability coverage is essential to ensure that you and your specialty installation business are adequately protected. Fortunately for SEMA-member companies, insurance solutions are close at hand.

ADAS Q&A With John Waraniak

ADASWhile identifying multiple growth opportunities for the specialty-equipment industry, the recently released “SEMA Advanced Vehicle Technology Opportunities Report” (see p. 328) predicts aftermarket growth potential in some types of driver vision augmentation (DVA) systems. To better understand this advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) technology, SEMA News turned to SEMA Vice President of Vehicle Technology John Waraniak.

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