Business

Expand Your Brand

About this product:

Adapting to a need to deploy troops anywhere in the world, U.S. military forces find themselves requiring trucks and transportation equipment more than ever before. This trend has created a steady opportunity for businesses in the automotive aftermarket to expand their customer base, while helping to supply the military with quality specialty-equipment products. High-performance brakes and engine equipment, blast-attenuating seats and specialized equipment for vehicles operating at high altitudes and in challenging terrain are among the parts in demand.

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New Study Examines Pickup Truck Market

The U.S. light-truck market is incredibly broad. Used for general transportation, commercial applications and recreation, light trucks comprise the single largest category for businesses in the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Indeed, trucks and the accessories built for them are so popular that they have laid claim to their own exhibit hall at the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas. While the light-truck market encompasses vans, crossovers, SUVs and some specially constructed vehicles, pickups make up the lion’s share of the market for SEMA members. The nation’s first and second top-selling vehicles are—and have been for years—the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado pickup lines.

What’s in the Box?

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Packaging is about more than protecting a product during shipping, handling and storage. It’s an extension of the product itself. When properly executed, good packaging reduces costs while branding and promoting the company and the product to consumers. Ultimately, it’s all about promise and performance to the buyer.

Packaging has evolved significantly over the past four to five decades. According to Diana Twede, Ph.D., a professor at the Michigan State University School of Packaging, one of the greatest contemporary trends can be summed up in a single word: Plastics.

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The Hottest Vehicles of 2011

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Each year, a few vehicles dominate the automotive landscape. It stands to reason that the most popular vehicles among consumers and specialty-equipment manufacturers would also be among the most profitable for all SEMA members. To help sort the vehicular wheat from the chafe, we examined a series of forward-looking “SEMA Indicators” to see what they might suggest about the crop of cars and trucks that are likely to make the biggest sales impact in 2011.

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When Disaster Strikes

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While most business people enjoy planning for success, preparing for disaster is equally crucial. Whether bracing to endure earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes or man-made events, such as terrorism or other crimes, including physical and cyber attacks, every company should take steps to survive, recover and resume operations in the event of catastrophe. Basic preventative measures apply to any type of disaster or business interruption, but specific measures tailored to geographic or regional conditions should also be considered. It goes without saying that the better you prepare and organize, the less down time your company will have to endure, reducing the time it takes to spring back into profitable operation.

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Accessories Influence New-Car Sales

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A new study commissioned by SEMA indicates that aftermarket products influence about a million new-vehicle sales each year. The automotive marketing research and consultancy firm AutoPacific collected and analyzed consumer data to quantify the effect that accessorization has on the sale of new vehicles. The resulting report, “Influence of Accessories on New-Vehicle Sales,” details the findings.

The study looked at the persuasive effects created by accessory products, including which ones are likely to create the greatest influence. 

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Selling a Car at an Auction

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In the November 2010 issue of SEMA News, we discussed how SEMA-member companies might use auctions to find the perfect vehicle to feature in promotions and advertising. Such vehicles can provide value well beyond their material worth by helping customers realize long-held dreams. In some cases, however, the effectiveness of even the optimal vehicle eventually diminishes, whether because of changing styles, a new marketing direction or other factors. The company may then wish to utilize an auction to divest itself of that property with either a minimal loss or—even better—a net gain because of appreciation. Perhaps the most significant benefit of consigning a collector or exotic vehicle to an auction is the extremely passionate pool of buyers drawn by such events.

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