Milestones

SEMA News—December 2012

CHRIS KERSTING

Milestones

  Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO  
   

The dust has settled and the 2012 edition of the SEMA Show delivered the goods in a big way. Exhibitors and quality buyers participated in near-record numbers—which in itself is an encouraging indicator—and the buzz on business value was strong. Looking back on the past year, we note some of our other key accomplishments and the road ahead in 2013.

December 2011: The SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) was still just a proposal. Its mission: to help our industry sell more parts by making manufacturers’ product information easily and widely available to distribution partners, retailers and consumers.

Progress to Date and Ahead: The SDC is up and running, accepting and distributing our manufacturers’ product information in its beta phase. It’s staffed by technically competent experts and led by industry-saavy veteran Jon Wyly. Growth has been rapid: more than 125 suppliers and 55 industry resellers are using the SDC to prepare for the full system launch in January. More are joining the SDC every week.

Participating manufacturers now have an affordable way to generate and control their own product data, store and maintain that data in an industry-standard format, and supply their data to a wide range of channel partners.

As the repository of validated product information grows, the industry becomes ever-more ready for the growth of “brick and click” retailing and the hand-held revolution that will enable specialty product sales anytime, anywhere in the world.

As more consumers turn to online sources to gather information on the parts they will purchase (more than 50% do so now), the SDC gives manufacturers an affordable way to have their products appear for review, consideration and purchase.

Look for the introduction in January of the full-production SDC system and development in the year ahead of “SEMA Search,” an online look-up tool that will be available to all SEMA-member resellers.

January 2012: SEMA received a $500,000 grant from the Department of Transportation to help SEMA manufacturers’ efforts to sell abroad.

Progress to Date and Ahead: SEMA used a portion of the grant to acquire a Toyota HiLux truck, a model popular with enthusiasts overseas but not available in the United States.

The HiLux Pilot Project was born. SEMA took the vehicle coast to coast, and SEMA members gained access to it in group measuring sessions and on an individual basis.

More than 100 manufacturers participated, and the pilot program generated hundreds of new products for the HiLux, many of which were on display at the SEMA Show.

The HiLux Pilot Program received high marks from participating SEMA members and proved a valuable tool for U.S. companies aiming to sell more products around the world. The program will be expanded to include additional overseas vehicles in 2013, starting with the Ford T6 Ranger.

February 2012: SEMA announced the acquisition of the PRI Trade Show and publications. The announcement noted plans to maintain PRI as a hard-core race industry expo and to energize the event, publications and management team with SEMA resources.

Progress to Date and Ahead: SEMA and PRI team members delivered on successful integration and support of the PRI business offerings. Investment in new business systems and technology is helping PRI deliver even more value for customers.

The 2012 PRI Trade Show continued its focus and tradition of providing a powerful boost for race industry businesses.

The PRI publications division delivered their customary world-class content, making Performance Racing Industry the race industry’s most highly valued print and online publication.

The SEMA and PRI leadership team worked behind the scenes with race-industry leaders on plans to ensure the future for a premier race industry trade show delivering unmatched ROI for industry members in 2013.

—Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO

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