As a trade association, SEMA is governed by an elected Board of Directors—individuals who volunteer their time, talent and industry insight to guide and lead the organization. All members serve two years, with the chairman-elect automatically assuming the role of Board chairman after completing his or her two-year term. For the 2011–2012 term, Paul “Scooter” Brothers of COMP Performance Group becomes SEMA Chairman of the Board, with Nate Shelton of B&M Automotive Group serving as Chairman-Elect. The current SEMA Board of Directors totals 27 members.
To navigate an up-and-down economy, your business needs sound, ongoing reports and analysis of the major economic and market trends affecting the $28 billion automotive specialty-equipment industry. Thankfully, you can now find that information via the SEMA Market Update, a completely new report series developed by SEMA’s marketing research department.
They say that hindsight is 20/20. The March 2011 issue of SEMA News
featured a Best Practices article on the how and why of disaster
planning, calling special attention to acts of God and other sudden
business interruptions (see callout box). Now, eight months later, ATC
Composites COO Chris Ripper strongly encourages SEMA News readers to
revisit that article—and with good reason.
Remember the Sci-Fi television programs of the ‘50s and ‘60s in which
engineers of the future could stand in front of a computer device, order
up practically any space sprocket or gizmo and watch it materialize in
seconds, ready for use? Believe it or not, that future is here—and has
been for some time. While not as instantaneous as their fictional
counterparts, there are computerized machines that can replicate solid,
intricate 3-D objects in a process now being dubbed “3-D printing.”
As the automotive specialty-equipment industry moves into 2012, SEMA
News put out a call to the leaders of the association’s councils and
networks to seek their views about what might be in store during the
coming year. Their responses are instructive and should provide helpful
insights for companies in every segment of the marketplace.
Business technology is in a constant state of evolution, and it can be a
maddening chore to try to keep up. It seems that every innovation
begets an even newer version only a few weeks later. In some cases, the
latest gizmo is only a marginal improvement on what went before, but
there are significant trends and tools that simply cannot be ignored. In
some very tangible instances, a company can be left behind while its
competitors employ technological tools to expand and improve.
Following a successful SEMA Show, it’s time to catch our breath and perhaps take a moment to ponder where we go from here.
Feedback following the Show suggests that the economy might not be booming, but many of our member companies are making progress. Those businesses have dug in and made the moves that will make it possible to thrive during a prolonged recovery period. That’s a reasonable strategy, since it seems clear that significant growth in our traditional markets is still somewhere out in the future.
Providing young automotive enthusiasts with an opportunity to develop and showcase their talents while being exposed to the automotive aftermarket industry, Hot Rodders of Tomorrow launched in 2008 at the Race & Performance Expo in St. Charles, Illinois, and has been invited to compete at the SEMA Show every year since its inception. The organization’s goal is to reach out to high-school students before they graduate in order to provide much-needed future talent for the automotive specialty-equipment market.
As the automotive aftermarket’s foremost trade association, SEMA is a reflection of the aspirations, vision and creative thinking of its vast membership. However, bringing the industry together for the good of all its businesses requires tremendous time and energy. Key to the association’s mission and growth are industry leaders and volunteers who tirelessly give of themselves to serve on the SEMA Board of Directors and member councils. To recognize these individuals and to encourage the emergence of other industry volunteers to join their ranks, SEMA presented its annual Leadership Days program on Wednesday, July 27, through Friday, July 29.
The laws and regulations that govern how SEMA members do business have an increased and growing impact on the way automotive specialty-equipment products are made, distributed and marketed. As the nation and our industry struggle with a still balky economy, SEMA’s charge is to stay on top of every relevant state and federal matter of consequence to its membership to ensure the best possible outcome.
Chevrolet Spark. Acura Sedan for 2013, Corvette C7, Subaru BRZ
The SEMA Town Hall Meeting program—a series of informal gatherings where members and potential members can network with local industry leaders and SEMA staff to share the challenges and opportunities facing their businesses—will return for 2012.
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.
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.
Marketers looking for an extremely robust tool to monitor social media should take a close look at offerings from Crimson Hexagon, evolve24 and NetBase, according to market research firm Forrester, a company with a longstanding reputation for objective market analysis. All three social media dashboards “excel in their data processing abilities,” said Zach Hofer-Shall, a Forrester analyst.
Dean Moon’s legacy lives on at car events all over the world. Those in the know recognize the spun-aluminum disc wheels that land speed racers prized or the pressurized fuel tanks that rode on the noses of so many dragsters. But for most, the enduring symbol of Moon’s contribution to the speed parts industry is a pair of eyes—those googly Mooneyes that stare out from countless T-shirts and decals found from Bakersfield to Yokohama.