2013 SEMA Report Card: Latest Initiatives to Help You Succeed

SEMA News—December 2013

CHRIS KERSTING

2013 SEMA Report Card:
Latest Initiatives to Help You Succeed

Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO As 2013 comes to a close, we’re pleased to be wrapping up a SEMA Show that delivered tremendous value to our largest turnout ever of exhibiting manufacturers and buyers. Meanwhile, SEMA has been launching several new value propositions to help the industry. What follows is a progress report on some “big idea” programs recently funded and launched by SEMA to help our members grow their businesses.

December means the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show, which is returning this year to enormous industry support in the city of Indianapolis. This move follows SEMA’s one-two acquisition of PRI and the International Motorsports Industry Show, paving the way for a united racing and performance event that is shaping up to be a blockbuster. We’ll have more than 1,182 exhibiting racing and performance manufacturers, up 20% over 2012. Buyer registrations are up a whopping 23%. Registration for industry conferences and educational seminars is up as well.

All indications are that this year’s PRI show will open a new chapter for the motorsports industry. We’re confident that the industry will look back at these moves as a beneficial turning point as the years roll by and benefits accrue.

On a different front, SEMA also launched an important new industry resource with the SEMA Data Co-Op (SDC). A year ago, the SDC was running on a Beta platform that involved about 50 companies. Today, we have more than 450 companies—manufacturers and their distribution partners—working with the SDC online tools and actively exchanging product data. (You can find out more about that by reading our interviews with a group of SDC users starting on p. 38.)

Additionally, Jon Wyly and his team at the SDC are working tirelessly to help educate the industry on the importance of product data management, interacting daily with key industry influencers to bridge service gaps and understand needs. Their work with the SEMA Manufacturers Rep Network on its SDC Certification Program is a great example, with more than 50 manufacturers reps now trained and certified to help educate members about product data management and the SDC. The SDC has had a great year, effectively helping SEMA members grow the market and sell more parts.

Another big idea, the SEMA Garage-Industry Innovations Center, has made substantial progress and is already proving its value to the industry. Earlier this year, a decisive Board of Directors allowed us to move forward and establish the SEMA Garage in the ideal facility—just next door to the SEMA headquarters building. Since then we have moved to bring state-of-the-art tools to the premises and can offer members a host of practical services, including the ability to access newly released cars and trucks for measurement sessions and product fitment.

The SEMA Garage also offers members access to high-value measuring equipment, including a state-of-the-art Faro arm scanner. Simultaneously, membership use of the Technology Transfer program has grown rapidly. More than 157 member companies are actively participating and receiving computer-aided design data on new vehicles. In addition, there is a growing list of members who have used the Automobile Club of Southern California emissions dyno lab to guide development of new parts and to secure California Air Resources Board Executive Orders at special SEMA-member rates.

On yet another front, our award-winning international department has been successful in bringing vehicles unavailable in North America to the Garage for measuring sessions to assist our members seeking to sell parts and accessories in developing markets abroad. Through the SEMA Garage, we have a new way to offer members the facility, the technology and the tools they really need to develop quality products.

While 2013 has been a good year, there is more to come. It’s too early to talk about all the big ideas that may come to fruition in 2014, but we have identified some intriguing possibilities. It’s a good bet that between now and this time next year, we’ll have news to report.

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