International

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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Brazil, Part 2

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Brazil, China and India are outpacing the growth in many mature automotive markets—a trend that is likely to continue over the next few years. The Brazilian trade association Associação Nacional dos Fabricantes de Veículos Automotores (National Association of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, or ANFAVEA) has estimated that vehicle sales in Brazil will rise 5% during 2012. In fact, the country has already overtaken Germany to become the fourth-largest vehicle market in the world, with sales of 3.6 million cars and light trucks in 2011.

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Brazil

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Brazil has long been on a short list of automotive specialty-equipment markets that SEMA is tracking as having the potential to develop into one of the world’s most important. Brazil first came onto the association’s radar screen due its position as the largest market in South America as well as a citizenry known for an obsession with cars, trucks and motorsports.

SEMA executives traveled to Brazil first in 2005, and so it is time now to provide an update on a number of factors that they were exploring back then as well as market changes. In a two-article series (download Brazil Part 2 here), we will look at the factors most typically used by exporters in determining which markets to target.

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SEMA Members Head to the Middle East

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This is the second in a two-part series on the Middle East Market—specifically the market in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the five neighboring countries comprising the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. A number of factors make this market of 7.3 million vehicles particularly attractive, including the high regard for U.S. products and considerable discretionary income. SEMA members making products for light trucks and American musclecars will find strong demand for those applications.

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Chinese Consumers Seek Specialty Products

A group of SEMA-member manufacturers recently descended on the Chinese capitol of Beijing, for the second annual SEMA China International Auto Parts Expo (CIAPE) China Business Development Program—an intensive three days of networking and one-on-one meetings with Chinese buyers from 24 cities throughout China. The 2011 delegation of U.S. companies represented a broad range of products, including engine performance, interior and exterior appearance products, suspension and handling upgrades and mobile electronics. The goals of the participants included meeting potential customers, getting a better understanding of consumer brand awareness, evaluating distribution channels for their products and identifying vehicles on Chinese roads for which they should develop new product applications.

SEMA Members Head to the Middle East in 2012

Some of the fastest-growing markets in recent years have been in the Middle East—the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the five neighboring countries comprising the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The specialty-equipment markets in the region are in their infancy, and U.S. manufacturers have the opportunity to get into these respective markets during these exciting early days.

Profitable Partnerships Globally

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Nearly 25% of all buyers expected at the 2011 SEMA Show will come from more than 100 nations outside the United States.

Registration is strong from buyers from countries and regions around the world, including Canada, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Scandinavia, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela and the United Kingdom. SEMA offers a variety of programs and resources to link Show exhibitors with these international distributors and retailers.

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German State of Baden-Württemberg Loses in Appeal

In a closely watched case, a German court has, for the second time in two years, sided with a consumer who sued for the right to install aftermarket carbon-fiber wheels on his motorcycle. The German state of Baden-Württemberg denied the consumer an operating license, with the following note in the appeal documents: “Upon retrofitting carbon fiber wheels, the motorcycle no longer conforms” and “the operating permit of the individual vehicle is forfeited pursuant to the German Road Traffic Admission Regulation….”

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