SEMA News

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Cover Story

As a kid, John Waraniak, SEMA’s vice president of vehicle technology, never gave much thought to a college education. He did, however, enjoy building fast toys—plundering the neighbors’ throwaways on garbage day and reconfiguring found treasures such as washing-machine pulleys, lawn-mower engines, old wagons and bikes into saleable contraptions. That was the sort of vision and imagination that led him to two master’s degrees as well as engineering soapbox racers, B-2 stealth bombers and Chevrolet motorsports programs.

Business

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Chris Kersting

  • Ever have the feeling as a small business that it’s tough to compete and stay ahead? That’s pretty common. And yet there are companies out there—some might be your competitors—who make it a priority to use technology to multiply their capabilities.

    SEMA offers specific programs and benefits to help members access a variety of key technologies that are changing business in the automotive aftermarket.

From The Hill

  • The 2010 Congressional elections provided a sweeping change throughout the country. More than 70 new members of Congress were elected, and control of the House of Representatives switched parties. SEMA members in northern Michigan recently had the opportunity to meet their new representative, Congressman Dan Benishek, during a SEMA-sponsored Congressional District Site Visit at Classic Instruments.

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

  • McLeod Racing LLC, RideTech, Lucas Oil Products, Brenton Productions, Be Cool Inc. and more.

  • BMW X5, Acura RDX, BMW M6 Cabrio, Kia RWD Sedan

  • While submissions are accepted any time before the Show (October 30–November 2), manufacturers that return their ESRAs with deposits by April 27 will have greater opportunities to collaborate with Show organizers and participate in the Priority Booth Selection Process. The selection process is the first opportunity exhibitors have to select the actual location of their SEMA Show booths.

International

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Internet

  • While tech-giddy employees are prone to fawn over every new iThing
    smuggled into the workplace—devices that are often used in violation of
    company policy—IT security pros see something very different: a security
    breach waiting to happen. The hard fact is that many of those
    unauthorized devices can slash gaping holes in company security systems
    in a nanosecond, exposing company data and applications to hackers.
    Indeed, even some authorized devices keep security IT up at night, since
    their current software solution may not be designed to handle some of
    the brand-new phones and tablets.

New Products

  • America is reviving its traditional love affair with the light-truck,
    SUV and off-roading segments. With experts predicting a third
    consecutive year of rising auto sales in 2012, the light-truck category
    seems to be leading the way. The Ford F-Series and the Chevrolet
    Silverado again ranked first and second, respectively, among the top ten
    vehicles sold last year. Meanwhile, Jeep continued its strong comeback
    for Chrysler. Many experts credit pent-up consumer demand, while others
    read from the figures tentative signs of economic recovery. Either way,
    the growth is welcome.

Required Reading

  • Whether you attended the 2011 SEMA Show or not, we always recommend checking out the media coverage after the Show. Thousands of media representatives attend the Show each year and their goal is to scour the Show floor for the hottest and best new products available. They’re not simply looking to meet with a few manufacturers. Rather, they’re reporting on the Show so that they can share what’s new with their audience. Below, are just a few examples of the coverage that resulted. As you see more articles, add them to your personal list of Required Reading—you may discover some products that you missed while in Vegas!

Research

  • The opinion leader program continued each succeeding year, including at
    the 2011 SEMA Show, where some of the nation’s most active and
    influential automotive enthusiasts provided additional firsthand
    feedback through participation in onsite focus groups that provided
    deeper insight into enthusiasts’ perspectives and attitudes about the
    automotive specialty-equipment industry.

SEMA Heritage

  • Gene Winfield was having a big year in 1963 when Petersen Publishing Company photographer Eric Rickman took this photo at Winfield’s car customizing shop in Modesto, California. Rickman was chronicling the progress of several cars being prepped for land speed record attempts at the Bonneville Salt Flats, and he captured Winfield as he was laying out “a super streamlined street roadster over an early Ford frame and running gear.”

Tech News

  • As a kid, John Waraniak, SEMA’s vice president of vehicle technology, never gave much thought to a college education. He did, however, enjoy building fast toys—plundering the neighbors’ throwaways on garbage day and reconfiguring found treasures such as washing-machine pulleys, lawn-mower engines, old wagons and bikes into saleable contraptions. That was the sort of vision and imagination that led him to two master’s degrees as well as engineering soapbox racers, B-2 stealth bombers and Chevrolet motorsports programs.