International

Global Media Awards

First-time exhibitor Rock Smasher, whose engineering team is shown here with SEMA Vice President of Finance and Administration George Afremow (center, blue shirt), was ecstatic at finding out that the company had won three SEMA Global Media Awards.Winners Announced at the SEMA Show International Happy Hour

Nearly 160 SEMA Show exhibitors were notified on Wednesday morning of the recent 2014 SEMA Show that one or more of their products were Global Media Award winners. Twenty-six international journalists sitting on an elite panel from 15 countries chose the products.

Receiving three Global Media Awards was “probably the biggest highlight out of a week full of highlights for WipeNew,” commented first-time SEMA Show exhibitor Wipe New’s Vice President Nick Naylor.

Positive Developments In China’s Specialty-Equipment Market

Demand Is Strong; Will Laws Be Updated Soon?

Seventeen SEMA-member companies presented their products in a two-city visit to China during the September 2014 SEMA China Business Development tour. The SEMA delegation had the opportunity to exhibit both in Beijing and Shanghai. The group was briefed by the U.S. Embassy and participated in networking events in both cities, where members had the chance to meet with buyers from throughout the country. Buyers attended the SEMA events from 23 provinces located throughout China.

SEMA’s International Vehicle Measuring Program

Offering Access to Hard-to-Obtain Vehicles What do a Toyota HiLux, a Ford Ranger T6, an UAZ Hunter and a Mitsubishi L200 have in common? For one thing these vehicles are known for being aftermarket-accessory friendly, are extremely popular with enthusiasts and are typically upgraded by owners who seek to take them off-roading. Another thing they have in common is that none of these vehicles are sold in the United States, but being very popular throughout the much of the rest of the world, they offer export marketing potential for U.S. companies.

A Tax Benefit for Your Exports

In the past, the creation of an Interest-Charge Domestic International Sales Corporation (IC-DISC) has allowed U.S. manufacturers from a number of industries to greatly reduce the amount of tax paid on their exports—and the automotive industry has been no exception. For example, tax specialist alliantgroup recently helped one company that produces LED lights for a variety of motor vehicles receive $235,600 in tax savings on their exports. Another company that creates fabrics and composites for automotive applications was eligible to receive $539,000 in tax dollars for its IC-DISC.

Tips on Maximizing International Opportunities at the 2014 SEMA Show

Top specialty-equipment distributors and retailers will talk about the challenges and opportunities in their markets at roundtable discussions to be held November 3 (the day before the SEMA Show opens), in room N259 of the Las Vegas Convention Center. SEMA companies interested in expanding their sales overseas or wishing to gain a foothold in key international markets for the first time should start planning now to take advantage of one of the biggest international events of the year—the 2014 SEMA Show. During the first week of November, resellers from more than 130 countries interested in purchasing performance and styling products will be descending on Las Vegas for the SEMA Show. In fact, early figures show that 25% of all buyers expected to attend this year’s Show reside outside the United States, which is similar to the percentage at the 2013 Show.

2014 SEMA Russia Business Development Conference

Robert Park (far left), international key account manager for Rigid Industries LED Lighting in Gilbert, Arizona, described his company’s products to a large off-road distributor. “It’s great to see that the aftermarket customizing scene is alive in Russia and that U.S. products are highly sought after,” Park said.  Executives from eight SEMA-member companies traveled with SEMA staff to explore the automotive specialty-equipment market in Russia and determine the potential for products in that country of 142 million. There was some trepidation, given the current political tensions between the U.S. and Russia, but once in Moscow, the group was impressed with what they saw.

“What a country,” said Ed Rossi, vice president of sales for Injen Technology. “It’s full of rich culture, history and majestic sights. Injen Technology ventured to Russia with a bit of skepticism due to the Crimea takeover. We had reservations about how Americans would be treated in light of our contradictory political stances, but the people of Russia were...

Central America

The Toyota HiLux is a popular vehicle to customize in Central America. SEMA purchased a HiLux, which is popular elsewhere in the world but is not sold in the United States, so that SEMA-member manufacturers could measure the vehicle to create export-ready product. The international vehicle measuring session program is made possible through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce. An Increasingly Popular Regional Destination for U.S. Automotive Specialty-Equipment Products

With an estimated population of 42 million, Central America is an increasingly important regional market for U.S. goods. The Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) eliminates trade barriers among the seven signatories, which include the United States, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Before this regional trade pact, tariffs on U.S. autos and parts to the region had averaged from about 4% to 9% and even up to 30% on certain products. Most of these import taxes disappeared immediately with CAFTA-DR approval, and the rest will be eliminated by 2015.

2014 SEMA Middle East Trip

Top Speed was the first stop on a day-long trip to tour local tuning shops. Pictured are (left with back to camera) Rick Trudo, president and CEO of SCT Performance; Adrian Croot (center), marketing director of Bully Dog Technologies; and (right) Saeed Al Al Marzouqi, managing director of Top Speed.Record Number of SEMA Members Participate in Third Annual Visit to the United Arab Emirates

Whether the motivating factor is to hedge against future downturns in the U.S. economy or to sell to the 95% of consumers residing outside the United States or a combination of the two, SEMA members are increasingly reaching out to overseas resellers. Todd Lindblade, regional sales manager for Extang, based in Michigan, explained one of the reasons why his company and 41 other SEMA members recently spent a week in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) meeting with buyers from throughout the region.

China’s Growing Love Affair With Jeeps

A number of Jeep clubs have sprung up throughout China with their members enjoying off-roading trips lasting up to two or even three weeks and venturing as far away as Mongolia and Nepal, among other destinations. By Alysha Webb

China continues to be a very important market for Chrysler’s Jeep line. Last year it became the brand’s largest global market. Imported models have driven that growth, but Chrysler has been talking for years about producing Jeeps in China. It looks as though that will become a reality next year. Adding domestically produced models to the mix should boost both sales of Jeeps and opportunities for SEMA members.

Japan Custom-Car Market Overview

Though Japan slipped from the number-three car consumer worldwide in 2011 to number five in 2012, love for automobiles remains very strong among the Japanese. Like Americans, the Japanese are holding on to their cars longer, which makes for a very interesting opportunity for the custom market. People have a desire to give their cars a facelift after a few years when they hold on to them, and that results in more sales for those engaged in the custom-car market. From swapping out wheels to updating headlights to modernizing the entertainment system, the aftermarket business in Japan is booming, and consumers continue to look for new products to enhance their driving experiences.

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