SEMA News

sema-news-2015-01-cover.jpg

Cover Story

Each year, during the first week of November, manufacturers of automotive parts and accessories gather in Las Vegas to debut their new products and connect with buyers and media. As the largest annual gathering of small businesses, the SEMA Show provides these manufacturers with a venue for which to do business. They spend months in advance preparing their booths and securing meetings, and they work nonstop during the Show to connect with buyers who are seeking the hottest, newest products to fill their store shelves.

 

Business Technology

  • Jon Wyly

    That’s why every manufacturer and reseller of consumer products needs to be paying attention today to where the Internet is going and learn how to leverage its substantial influence and power.

    Now hear me out before you get your hackles up and declare me yet another of the “end of the brick-and-mortar” doomsayers. The statistics are there for anyone to read, and the fact-based opinions of some very sharp folks are telling us in no uncertain terms that consumers are continuing to gravitate to the Internet to research and purchase all sorts of goods. The automotive parts and accessories category is no exception.

Chris Kersting

  • Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO It will be no surprise to those who attended: The 2014 SEMA Show bounced off the rev limiter like a street machine on nitrous, posting historic levels of attendance, exhibitor numbers and total footprint. Growth is good, but the key measure of success will always be to create a comprehensive marketplace where quality exhibitors can do business with quality buyers. In that regard, it seems that the 2014 Show served well as a springboard for success for most in the industry in the coming year.

    As usual, we’ll be doing research to quantify what worked and what is changing as well as soliciting new ideas and ways to improve. To those of you who returned our post-Show survey, we extend our sincerest thanks in advance for your thoughts and comments.

Events

  • Attending the annual SEMA Award presentation were (from left) Alan Batey, president of GM North America and global Chevrolet brand chief, accepting for the ’14/’15 Chevrolet Silverado as Hottest Truck; Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of Honda Division, accepting for the ’15 Honda Fit as Hottest Sport Compact; Chris Kersting, president and CEO of SEMA; Pietro Gorlier, president and chief executive officer of MOPAR brand service, parts and customer care, Chrysler Group, accepting for the ’14/’15 Jeep Wrangler as Hottest SUV; and Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer, accepting for the ’15 Ford Mustang as Hottest Car. The Hottest Vehicles of the 2014 SEMA Show

    SEMA annually recognizes four vehicle models that specialty-equipment manufacturers believe are the best platforms for accessorization and that showcase the year’s coolest products. The awards are presented on the first day of the SEMA Show based on the total number of vehicles chosen for display in exhibitor booths at the annual event. Each booth vehicle represents a vote by the exhibitor. The SEMA Award honors are presented in the categories of Hottest Car, Hottest Sport Compact, Hottest Truck and Hottest SUV.

  • Each year, during the first week of November, manufacturers of automotive parts and accessories gather in Las Vegas to debut their new products and connect with buyers and media. As the largest annual gathering of small businesses, the SEMA Show provides these manufacturers with a venue for which to do business. They spend months in advance preparing their booths and securing meetings, and they work nonstop during the Show to connect with buyers who are seeking the hottest, newest products to fill their store shelves.

  • The New Products Showcase at the SEMA Show is a hotbed of creativity each year. Attendees flock to the display cases to learn about the latest developments in everything from street-performance, racing and off-roading to mobile-electronics, interior and exterior products. The cases are stocked before the Show opens, and a widely diverse panel of automotive professionals scrutinizes each offering before selecting a chosen few for industry honors.

From The Hill

  • From left to right: Christian Robinson, SEMA government affairs; Jeff Major, Bed Wood & Parts founder; U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY); Eric Snyder, SEMA government affairs.Bed Wood & Parts Hosts U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield

    Like many car guys, Jeff Major’s passion for street rods, stock cars and classic trucks was acquired as he helped his father in the garage. While working on his own ’57 Chevy pickup not long ago, Major couldn’t find the right wood for the bed of his truck, so he took a page out of his father’s playbook and took matters into his own hands. Literally. It was on that day in 2006 that Bed Wood & Parts was born.

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

  • Porsche 911 Race Car, Camaro Convertible, ’80s Camaro Testing With Next-Gen Model, Nissan Maxima

  • Breaking news from SEMA member companies, including Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels, Aeromotive, The Hybrid Shop, VP Racing Fuels, Royal Purple and more.

  • SEMA members that have taken advantage of a 2011 Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP) grant of $500,000 awarded to SEMA have reported $52.68 million in export sales. The funds provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce through this program have helped support projects aimed at increasing U.S. exports to key markets overseas.

  • Journalists are invited to sit down in private, uninterrupted meetings with executives representing some of the top motorsports parts producers in the business during the 2015 MPMC Media Trade Conference. The conference, which takes place Tuesday–Thursday, January 20–22, 2015, at the Embassy Suites Orange County Airport North in Santa Ana, California, features companies that are members of SEMA’s Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC).

International

  • Demand Is Strong; Will Laws Be Updated Soon?

    Seventeen SEMA-member companies presented their products in a two-city visit to China during the September 2014 SEMA China Business Development tour. The SEMA delegation had the opportunity to exhibit both in Beijing and Shanghai. The group was briefed by the U.S. Embassy and participated in networking events in both cities, where members had the chance to meet with buyers from throughout the country. Buyers attended the SEMA events from 23 provinces located throughout China.

People And Places

  • A Look to the Future With SEMA Council Leaders

    SEMA News annually turns to the leaders of the association’s councils and networks for the January issue to seek their views about how the industry is shaping up for the coming year. The chairs of each group provide responses based on what their organizations and companies are seeing within their marketplaces. Their responses provide helpful insights for businesses in every segment of the marketplace.

Required Reading

  • While the 2014 SEMA Show is now in the history books, highlights from the annual event live on as media coverage continues to highlight the vehicles, products and activities from the event. One consistent theme year after year is that the SEMA Show is a place for the industry to discover new automotive aftermarket trends.

Retail Store Review

  • RCTS boasts four lifts, an in-floor dyno and electronics and fuel-injection labs. The shop’s motto is, “Technology is the only substitute for cubic inches.”The banner at the top of the RCTS Canada website reads, “Technology is the only substitute for cubic inches.” It’s a saying that the retail performance outlet has lived by since owner Reg Riemer founded it in 1996. Over the years, RCTS has worked closely with factory shops ranging from TTE-Toyota Team Europe to HKS to boost its technical and R&D credentials. In fact, RCTS has carved out a specific niche as the only licensed, fully supported HKS Pro Dealer in all of Canada.

    “Reg actually started by selling HKS products out of his garage way back,” explained shop foreman Antony Ray. “Soon he had to get a building to sell them out of, and things grew.

SEMA Heritage

  • For instance, Hot Rod magazine published an article in its June 1963 issue called “Wiring Made Easy” to illustrate the basic tools, hardware and steps needed to wire a hot-rod project. But the car in the opening photograph wasn’t just any hot rod. A car’s electrical system can be a challenge for a do-it-yourself hobbyist. That’s why car magazines—for about as long as there have been car magazines—have covered the topic to help enlighten shade-tree mechanics.

    For instance, Hot Rod magazine published an article in its June 1963 issue called “Wiring Made Easy” to illustrate the basic tools, hardware and steps needed to wire a hot-rod project. But the car in the opening photograph wasn’t just any hot rod. The subject car was the XR-6—a futuristic, built-from-scratch roadster that was the brainchild of Hot Rod’s LeRoi “Tex” Smith to “investigate the uses of modern ideas in hot-rod design,” as Smith described it. The XR-6 would go on to appear on the cover of Hot Rod’s August 1963 issue and also nab the coveted America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award at that year’s Oakland Roadster Show.