If you ask average Americans what they love about auto racing, you’ll find a striking similarity in the responses: speed, teamwork and passion. Since the invention of the automobile, Americans have been converting their street vehicles into race cars. Powered by this passion, most professional motorsports leagues, including NASCAR, were founded on that concept. More than a century later, the very core of this tradition is under attack.
From The Hill
“The way I see it, if you’re going to build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?” explained Dr. Emmett Brown in the blockbuster film “Back to the Future.” As any movie buff will tell you, the car Doc Brown spoke of was the DeLorean DMC-12. Unfortunately for movie lovers and gearheads alike, the DeLorean hasn’t been in production since 1983. However, thanks to a new SEMA-supported law, that’s about to change.
In Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the country, it’s all about who you know. Strength is often measured by the size of your Rolodex, especially when seeking to advocate on behalf of the American automotive specialty-equipment industry. Through a variety of programs initiated over the years, the industry has connected with some of the most important contacts: politicians.
U.S. Representative Mimi Walters (R-CA) was first elected to Congress in November 2014. While many freshman members of Congress come to Washington, D.C., with much to learn, Walters was ready from day one. Her background in business and experience in the California Legislature prepared her for the rigors of the nation’s capital. For the 50-plus SEMA-member companies in her district, based in Orange County, that’s a winning combination.
SEMA-member companies recently made connections with their elected representatives. As a result of a visit to air-conditioning manufacturer Vintage Air last summer, U.S. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) agreed to co-sponsor the Low Volume Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015. Vintage Air executives Jack Chisenhall and Rick Love were able to catch up with Rep. Smith in San Antonio to say thank you.
Deteriorating conditions and wet weather at the Bonneville Salt Flats (BSF) forced the Southern California Timing Association/Bonneville Nationals Inc. to cancel Speed Week. The event organizers were unable to identify more than 2¼ miles of salt suitable for a safe course. Speed Week began in 1949 and is the largest annual racing event held at the BSF, with hundreds of teams racing every type of vehicle, from hot rods, roadsters and belly tankers to motorcycles, lakesters and streamliners. The event was also cancelled in 2014 due to rain, which marked the first cancellation since the ’90s.
U.S. Representatives Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Gene Green (D-TX) introduced bipartisan legislation that would enable low-volume car manufacturers to produce turn-key replica vehicles for customers nationwide. Called the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015 (H.R. 2675), the SEMA-supported bill would allow companies to construct up to 500 “replicas” per year. Those are cars that resemble another production vehicle manufactured at least 25 years ago.
While it’s too soon to tell who the next commander in chief will be, the field of contenders has begun to take shape. The candidates feature some very familiar names as well as some newcomers who have already made their marks. Who will emerge the victor? Let’s examine the players.
Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus Continues Rise on Capitol Hill
The American automobile celebrated its 100th birthday in 1996. To mark the milestone, the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus was formed to pay tribute to America’s ever-growing love affair with the car and motorsports. Nearly 20 years later, the caucus continues to raise the industry’s profile in the nation’s capital and in the public’s eyes.
Containing Costs in the Data-Breach Era
During a recent speech at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), President Obama reminded us: “If we’re going to be connected, then we need to be protected.” The sentiment summarizes a growing problem facing businesses that rely on modern technology to transact business: the data breach.