Is today’s younger generation giving up on driving, shunning car culture and turning away from vehicle accessorization? Far from it, says a new consumer study by SEMA’s Marketing Research department. In fact, the recently released “SEMA Young Accessorizers Report” suggests that this demographic is still as car crazy as ever—just in a different way.
The SEMA 2019 Business Resource Guide features contact information and descriptions of SEMA member-companies offering services specific to the automotive aftermarket industry. The guide, which is available electronically at www.SEMA.org/BRG, features contact information and descriptions of SEMA member-companies offering services specific to the automotive aftermarket industry.
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.
The 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.
For 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.
As 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.
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.
In 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.
SEMA 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).
Those 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?