International

Russian Car and Specialty- Equipment Market Growing Fast

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The customizing bug has hit Russian shores, fueled by rising wages and growing consumer confidence. As credit has become more readily available in an improving economy, a growing number of middle-class Russians are buying cars and SUVs—often for the first time—and a growing portion of these motorists are customizing their vehicles.

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Protecting an Industry Under Siege

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There was a sharp increase in global governmental efforts to limit the right of enthusiasts to modify their vehicles in 2008. With the industry under siege, companies in a growing number of countries set up associations to work together to address legislative threats and to gather data on the size of their markets.

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Customizing in China

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The specialty-equipment aftermarket in China is booming. Although it is still relatively small in comparison to its 1.3 billion population, the market is showing encouraging signs of growth as consumers become more familiar with the concepts of customization, have the disposable income to afford it and are finally able to legally customize their vehicles, thanks to legislation recently enacted by the Chinese government. The market is already at an estimated $12 – $15 billion, and market insiders expect to see substantial growth in the upcoming years.

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Doing Business in China: What You Need to Know Before You Go

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Conrad Wong is the intellectual property rights (IPR) officer in the U.S. Embassy in China and represents the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO; www.uspto.gov) with the United States Consulate General in Guangzhou. We talked with him recently when he met with a delegation of SEMA executives visiting China to identify opportunities as well as challenges for association members seeking to sell into this large market of more than 1.3 billion people. Wong has 15 years of experience in intellectual property matters and is a car enthusiast.

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