International

China: A Promising, Emerging Specialty-Equipment Market

As with a similar program for the Middle East, the annual SEMA China Business Development Tour was designed to be a low-cost and high-value way to explore a new market. Activities included two full days of meetings with pre-vetted buyers in Shanghai and Beijing, visits to specialty-equipment shops in both cities, briefings by U.S. government officials based in China and the opportunity to network with both buyers and fellow SEMA members in an informal setting. In addition, trip participants were able to help defray the cost of participating through a three-year, $500,000 Market Development Cooperative Program Grant that SEMA was awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Branching Out

Helping International Buyers Find You at the SEMA Show

In a post-SEMA Show survey, exhibitors identified meeting potential new international customers and developing relationships with overseas buyers as an increasingly important goal. Exhibitors also felt that there was an increased international presence, with more global attendees at the 2011 SEMA Show than in the past several years—and they were correct! More than 25% of all buyers at the 2011 SEMA Show were from more than 100 nations outside the United States.

Emerging Trend in China

Pickups Are the Latest Craze on the Chinese Off-Road Scene

SEMA News recently traveled to Beijing, China, the center of the Chinese off-road market, to talk to some key players about evolving trends. All of the sources we consulted widely credited the Jeep Wrangler as one of the most exciting and important developments in recent years in growing the off-road market, but they said that pickups are the fastest-growing segment.

Creating Export Opportunities

The Toyota HiLux is among the best-selling vehicles in the world—hitting more than 14 million units sold in 135 countries worldwide since its introduction. The 1-ton, double-cab, 4x4 pickup benefits from a reputation for reliability and sturdiness, and offers performance and appearance customization opportunities for a wide range of specialty-equipment manufacturers.

Matchmaking, SEMA Style

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SEMA led a fact-finding and buying mission to the Middle East, where Abu Dhabi was the venue for a one-on-one matchmaking event held April 17–20. Through a series of private meetings and networking events, participating U.S. manufacturers gathered with pre-vetted local importers and retailers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and from throughout the region for the SEMA Middle East Market Development Conference. An intimate, hotel-based, one-on-one setting allowed manufacturers and buyers the opportunity to get to know one another over several full days and included receptions and events at the Yas Marina Circuit, which is the venue for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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Global Legislation and Regulation Roundup

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Global Legislation and Regulation Roundup

Specialty Parts Status Around the World

Below is a roundup of proposed or recently enacted legislative and regulatory developments affecting the specialty-equipment industry in key overseas markets. For more information on overseas developments, SEMA members are invited to contact SEMA Director of International and Government Relations Linda Spencer.

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Global Jeep Appeal in Two Big Emerging Markets

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Chrysler’s Jeep brand has seen a resurgence in recent years, winning awards that range from the Grand Cherokee’s 2011 Urban Truck of the Year to the Wrangler’s 2012 Four Wheeler of the Year. Its popularity has also blossomed in emerging markets.

According to Chrysler Group LLC, sales of Jeep-brand vehicles in China in 2011 rose 64% compared to the previous year, climbing to 38,373 units. Sales also exploded in Russia, rising 85% to 2,327 units. Here’s a look at some of the particulars in those markets.

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SEMA Indicators

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No one can foretell the future, at least not with any degree of certainty. But a prudent look at marketplace indicators can often provide insights that savvy businesspeople might interpret for a strategic advantage. What follows is a look at some of the signposts along the current business roadway.

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A Fresh Coat

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Paint has long been a necessary product in the automotive world. Customizers and aftermarket manufacturers are among those who require paint products to conduct business. Perhaps the most prolific painters in the automotive sector, other than OEMs, would be shops operating in the repair and refinish segment. These are auto-body shops that make a living on being able to paint fast, match colors perfectly and be economical in the process.

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Going Global?

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If your aftermarket business ranks among the growing list of SEMA-member manufacturers considering overseas exportation, you’re likely weighing shipping logistics as part of the equation. To be sure, the prospect can seem daunting. After all, once you’ve attracted foreign buyers, you have to deliver the goods in the face of numerous hurdles. With the right assistance, however, you can successfully navigate those obstacles and achieve a safe landing for your aftermarket parts.

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