Business

SEMA Product and Catalog Showcase

Amp’d Emblems®

Amp’d Emblems® are custom illuminated car emblems, which are powered by your car’s electrical system using our patented technology. These lighted car emblems are currently available for the rear and front of select late models of Acura, Honda, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Scion. These LED enhanced emblems are sold as an easy-to-install kit. Subtly yet impressively accenting your emblem and vehicle with class. Make your vehicle stand out among the crowd! For more information, visit us at www.ampdemblems.com.

bonspeed Wheels

bonspeed Wheels are “high-performance-grade,” forged billet aluminum wheels manufactured to the highest standards in California. bonspeed was born on the streets of Southern California, and its designs are the leader in the industry. With a wide variety of styles, the exclusive Color Forged finish options and sizes from 15-in.–26-in., bonspeed can fit your vehicle. Each bonspeed wheel is custom machined to order for hot rods, musclecars, trucks and exotics. Visit us online at www.bonspeedWheels.com, or dealers call 888-999-7258.

Made in the U.S.A.

About this product:

Made in the U.S.A.” has long been a powerful marketing proposition, especially for the automotive specialty-equipment market. Resurgent patriotism and concern over American job losses, along with outsourcing and foreign knockoffs, are currently inspiring consumers to “buy American.”

Of course, there are plenty of manufacturers in this industry who, for numerous reasons, never left the good ol’ U.S.A. Has their decision to remain stateside helped or hindered them?

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An Automotive Opportunity

Faced with the uncertain U.S. recovery and a relatively soft market, many companies are looking to international markets to grow their businesses. This is particularly true in the automotive industry, as emerging global economies create new middle classes of consumers eager to purchase and modify cars, trucks and SUVs. Automotive specialty-equipment companies stand to benefit from entering these global markets—if they can successfully navigate the often-complex regulations and procedures involved in exporting goods overseas.

SEMA Show’s Collision Repair & Refinish Section Grows

The collaboration between the automotive specialty-equipment industry and the collision repair segment continues to increase, a fact that is reflected in the growing footprint of the newly branded Collision Repair & Refinish section of the 2011 SEMA Show. The new section—an expansion of the previously established Paint, Body & Equipment area—is one of 12 sections that will house exhibitors during the event at the Las Vegas Convention Center over November 1–4, 2011. The name change more accurately reflects the growing presence of the collision repair market, and more companies had already committed to exhibiting in the new section at press time for this issue than were present in the Paint, Body & Equipment section in 2010.

Media Methodology

How effective are your advertising and media campaigns? More important, how are you measuring your return on investment (ROI)? When marketing pros speak of “tracking media,” they’re really referring to tracking promotion, which—along with product, price and place—is one of the four P’s of marketing.

Car Care Tech

About this product:

To paraphrase a well-worn Oldsmobile ad, today’s vehicles are not your father’s paint and trim. If you think modern consumers are left scratching their heads over how to maintain the appearance of their vehicles, imagine what the companies that formulate car care products go through.

“From the last century, all the way up through the last five to 10 years, finishes have changed dramatically,” said Mike Pennington, product expert for Meguiar’s, the century-old car care product company acquired by the 3M Corp. in 2008. “With all of today’s newer vibrant colors, pearls and metallics, the paints have actually gotten a lot more resilient from a longevity standpoint, so you really don’t see the paint oxidizing like you used to. The challenge now is the way a lot of clear coats really magnify defects.”

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8 Steps for Smart Sales Hiring

About this product:

Few things are more critical to the health of a company than the ability of its salespeople to bring in profitable business, yet too many companies in the automotive specialty-equipment industry consider sales traits and skills last when hiring salespeople. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. This article is focused on helping you hire salespeople for the right reasons—and in the right way.

The aggregate level of selling skills in the specialty-equipment industry is low in comparison with other industries of similar types and compensation.

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Restyling Rebound

The restyling market experienced a steady decline in sales at the retail level from 2007 through 2009, according to SEMA research, going from $4.23 billion in 2007 to $3.79 billion in 2009. The main factor contributing to the fall in the market was the recession, which led to a major decline in vehicle sales. With available vehicle inventory on the downturn, a factor that may not adversely affect the more traditional specialty automotive markets, the decline changed the landscape of the restyling market. For OEMs, assembly lines were streamlined, factories were closed, trim levels were reduced or reconfigured, and the once lengthy list of available accessory options was scaled back.

Building a Better Restoration Market

The bedrock of the automotive specialty-equipment industry is the parts that are used to build, restore and modify vehicles of all types. Every segment of the industry counts on parts that are properly designed, engineered and manufactured to operate as promised. Within the restoration segment, however, those standards are complicated by the fact that the vehicles involved are anywhere from two decades to nearly a century old.

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