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Cover Story

Nineteen industry professionals are vying for a position on the 2011–2013 SEMA Board of Directors. The SEMA Board provides strategic direction to the association and plays a critical role in shaping the future of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Election materials were mailed to the primary contacts at eligible SEMA-member companies within the corresponding categories May 17. The voting process, which is entirely electronic this year, will be ongoing until voting closes June 14. Election results will be published in an upcoming issue of SEMA News.

Doug Evans; Source Interlink Media and Nate Shelton; B&M Automotive Group

Business

  • The bedrock of the automotive specialty-equipment industry is the parts that are used to build, restore and modify vehicles of all types. Every segment of the industry counts on parts that are properly designed, engineered and manufactured to operate as promised. Within the restoration segment, however, those standards are complicated by the fact that the vehicles involved are anywhere from two decades to nearly a century old.

  • Adapting to a need to deploy troops anywhere in the world, U.S. military
    forces find themselves requiring trucks and transportation equipment
    more than ever before. This trend has created a steady opportunity for
    businesses in the automotive aftermarket to expand their customer base,
    while helping to supply the military with quality specialty-equipment
    products. High-performance brakes and engine equipment,
    blast-attenuating seats and specialized equipment for vehicles operating
    at high altitudes and in challenging terrain are among the parts in
    demand.

  • The U.S. light-truck market is incredibly broad. Used for general transportation, commercial applications and recreation, light trucks comprise the single largest category for businesses in the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Indeed, trucks and the accessories built for them are so popular that they have laid claim to their own exhibit hall at the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas. While the light-truck market encompasses vans, crossovers, SUVs and some specially constructed vehicles, pickups make up the lion’s share of the market for SEMA members. The nation’s first and second top-selling vehicles are—and have been for years—the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado pickup lines.

  • Packaging is about more than protecting a product during shipping,
    handling and storage. It’s an extension of the product itself. When
    properly executed, good packaging reduces costs while branding and
    promoting the company and the product to consumers. Ultimately, it’s all
    about promise and performance to the buyer.

  • Each year, the SEMA Show features more than 1,000 project vehicles. Original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs)such as Ford, Chevy, Toyota and Honda regularly work with project-vehicle builders to create SEMA-Show-worthy customs that highlight their newest models and entice enthusiast buyers by showing how they can be customized.

Chris Kersting

  • If you care enough about the above headline to have read this sentence, it’s probably because you value your right to vote. And you should value it—at every level of opportunity. The good news is that no one is taking away your right to vote in the SEMA Board of Directors elections. But, we hope that the nerve we just hit will cause many of you to realize your vote is taken away every time you fail to submit your vote. SEMA Board members guide the use of a powerful arsenal of SEMA resources, and you’d be upset if we said you no longer have a say in the matter. So this year, start a new habit and vote!

From The Hill

  • One of the fundamental components of last year’s health care law is the
    creation of health care “exchanges.” While the law itself remains mired
    in controversy and threats of repeal, the state-based programs, if and
    when fully implemented, should make it easier for small-business owners
    and individuals to compare and select health care coverage. Exchanges
    are intended to create a competitive marketplace and increase access to
    affordable health care insurance.

Government Affairs

  • Law and Order is an update of some of the most recent federal and state legislative and regulatory issues that could potentially impact the automotive specialty-equipment industry. These include issues affecting small-business owners and their employees.

Industry News

  • Mercedes SLS AMG, Cadillac XTS, Chrysler 300 SRT8, Audi Q3

  • Toyota recently offered SEMA News an opportunity to drive one of its Tesla/Toyota RAV4 prototypes at the company’s Sustainable Mobility Seminar in La Jolla, California, along with several other advanced-powertrain cars that will be arriving in the next three years.

International

  • Scott Wood couldn’t have imagined that being named the Time magazine 2010 Dealer of the Year would be his ticket to China, but it was. Wood, who owns Chevrolet and Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep dealerships in the small town of Batesville, Arkansas, was invited to China to give a presentation to Chinese car dealers on selling accessories in dealerships. Wood sells quite a few Jeep accessories, so he naturally illustrated his presentation with examples of Mopar and aftermarket-branded Jeep accessories.

Internet

New Products

  • White Knight offers a line of TPMS valve stems in chrome and rubber finishes and in standard and adjustable swivel-style suitable for most applications. These TPMS valve stems are compatible with OE and aftermarket TPMS sensors.

    BorgWarner Turbo Systems: According to the company, the new EFR Turbocharger series features a Gamma Ti turbine wheel that’s more than 50% lighter than its Inconel counterpart and could spin in the slightest breeze. A dual ceramic ball-bearing cartridge, stainless-steel turbine housing and other integrated highlights all come together in harmony to create the new, highly advanced aftermarket turbocharger.

     

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    The hot-rod market—the granddaddy of the automotive specialty-equipment industry—has seen some significant changes over the last few years based on both demographic and economic factors. The desire for modern amenities and advanced technology has increased with the aging of the Baby Boom generation. Styles and equipment have evolved to match those desires. From air suspension to classic gauges fitted with modern movements, and from keyless ignition to drive-by-wire throttle controls, the hot-rod world is keeping pace with developments in the rest of the automotive universe.

People And Places

  • SEMA News—June 2011

  • Nineteen industry professionals are vying for a position on the 2011–2013 SEMA Board of Directors. The SEMA Board provides strategic direction to the association and plays a critical role in shaping the future of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Election materials were mailed to the primary contacts at eligible SEMA-member companies within the corresponding categories May 17. The voting process, which is entirely electronic this year, will be ongoing until voting closes June 14. Election results will be published in an upcoming issue of SEMA News.

    Doug Evans; Source Interlink Media and Nate Shelton; B&M Automotive Group

Products / Catalog

Required Reading

  • Narrowing down the list of must-read magazines during the first quarter of the year is always a huge challenge. It’s during that time that coverage from the previous SEMA Show hits the newsstands. Go to the automotive section, and you’ll find that just about every car and truck magazine is featuring the new products and trends that were unveiled at the Show. While these issues are likely to be off the shelves by now, you can access most of them online. Take a look at a few that we found.

SEMA Heritage

  • In 1981, Hot Rod magazine Executive Editor C.J. Baker wrote an in-depth profile of Junior Johnson’s No. 11 “Mountain Dew” Buick Regal, in which Darrell Waltrip won the NASCAR championship that year. This photo opened that story in the November 1981 issue. Johnson is leaning on the race car; the other man in the photo is Gale Banks, posed with a turbocharged V6 engine he built for the Hot Rod project car behind him.