SEMA News

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Cover Story

Over the course of his career, Rich Barsamian has forged an impressive list of accomplishments while working for some of the industry’s most recognized companies, including Grant, Edelbrock, GT Performance Products and Advanced Clutch Technology. Along the way, he has also served on SEMA select committees for the Young Executive Network (YEN), the Motorsports Parts Manufacturer Council (MPMC), the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) and the SEMA Scholarship Committee.

Business

  • Market Forces and Technology May Change the Shape of the Industry

    The wheel and tire market has improved over the past year, according to a widely held consensus among professionals in the automotive specialty-equipment industry. New offerings, technology and an improving economy bode well for sales in 2015, but there are also impediments that may deflate some of the optimism.

Business Technology

  • Jon Wyly

    Speed to market for new products has been the bane of our industry since its beginning, and it’s an all too familiar story. Hard-earned money is spent on product research and development, WDs stock the shelves and then things just seem to slow down, often leaving new products laying on the shelves for weeks or months waiting to be “discovered.” Even in today’s digital age, we just can’t seem to get everything in sync to provide a seamless path of information from product inception to the warehouse shelves to the reseller and consumer… until now.

    About 18 months ago, the SEMA Data Co-op launched its online Product Information Management System, a data-management interface that equips a manufacturer to load product data into the system directly, automatically validates that data to industry standards and...

Chris Kersting

  • Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO Those who have attended the SEMA Show are likely aware of SEMA’s collaborative relationship with the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). SEMA’s partnership with CU-ICAR is now in its fifth year. It’s been a great partnership that yields useful tools to help SEMA members cope with vehicle technology and advance their products. Clemson has state-of-the-art equipment and top engineering talent to stay abreast of the newest automotive technologies. By connecting CU-ICAR and its graduate-level students and professors with the aftermarket, SEMA is shaping world-class research into practical tools for our member companies.

    One example is the just-released “Ride Guide,” a publication that puts more science into the matter of wheel/tire performance and selection. With support from SEMA and the Wheel & Tire Council (WTC), CU-ICAR recently conducted months of testing to determine the performance differences of varying wheel and tire combinations.

Events

  • Introductions From the New Products Showcase at the 2014 SEMA Show

    One of the most common adages in the automotive specialty-equipment industry is that the quickest and easiest way to change the character of an automobile is to change its wheels. As anyone who toured the displays in the lower South Hall at the 2014 SEMA Show can attest, the variety available is stunning. From plated to painted and concave to split-spoked, the displays drew thousands of buyers from every type of reseller, and there were equally impressive new tools to provide mounting, handling and balancing options for installers.

  • YEN Launch Pad Helps Propel Young Entrepreneurs

    Few automotive specialty-equipment veterans doubt that the industry’s future rests in identifying potential young entrepreneurs and igniting in them the sort of passion and bold innovation that will create a fresh new generation of market leaders. The question is: how? Launching new ideas today is daunting even for large companies with plenty of resources, let alone for young, small-business-minded men and women.

  • Held in conjunction with the recent 2014 SEMA Show, the annual Global Tire Expo (GTE)—Powered by the Tire Industry Association (TIA)—continued its reputation as a world-class “show within a show,” highlighting the tire niche’s tremendous significance within the automotive specialty-equipment marketplace. A Wave of New Tire Products Hits the 2014 SEMA Show

    Held in conjunction with the recent 2014 SEMA Show, the annual Global Tire Expo (GTE)—Powered by the Tire Industry Association (TIA)—continued its reputation as a world-class “show within a show,” highlighting the tire niche’s tremendous significance within the automotive specialty-equipment marketplace.

  • A beautiful exercise in glass and metal, the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration Concept is a stunner from every angle. The concept car features lots of intriguing ideas, including a new hybrid powerplant that pairs a twin-turbo 3.0L V6 engine to an electric motor, making a combined 550 hp. Infiniti spokespeople say that the car is an indication of where they would like to take the brand in the future.The Los Angeles Auto Show has developed a reputation as a “green” show that strongly focuses on alternative fuels and novel forms of propulsion. This may have been the case in prior years, but the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show had more to offer enthusiasts than in recent years, as a burst of “track-ready” performance cars and creative variants on existing platforms came to light. That made it more like the SEMA Show—an optimistic environment in which OEM exhibitors launched fun-to-drive new models and showed off interesting concept cars that may very well enter production. Among them were several vehicles that could be of special relevance to SEMA members.

From The Hill

  • SEMA looks forward to keeping you informed on issues impacting the automotive specialty-equipment industry and will need your assistance in making sure that our voice continues to be heard in the halls of Congress. The 2014 election was one that Republicans will look back upon fondly. The party picked up more than a dozen seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and nine in the U.S. Senate. As a result, the GOP has its largest majority in the House since 1931 and has regained control of the Senate after eight years in the minority.

    While November 4 was a night of celebration for Republicans, the real challenge will be governing in the weeks and months ahead. Washington’s dysfunction is both real and pervasive. The past two years have been the least productive in history.

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

  • Breaking news from SEMA member companies, including Wes-Coast Marketing, Truck Accessories Group, Air Lift Co., VP Racing Fuels, Challenger Lifts and more.

  • Nissan Maxima and Scion iM

  • Not Too Early to Reserve Space for the 2015 SEMA Show

    Manufacturers looking to get a jump on planning for 2015 can reserve booth space for next year’s SEMA Show at...

    6th Annual Collector Car Appreciation Day to Be Celebrated July 10

    SEMA’s Automotive Restoration Market Organization and Hot Rod Industry Alliance have announced that the next Collector Car Appreciation Day will be celebrated on July 10, 2015.

International

  • First-time exhibitor Rock Smasher, whose engineering team is shown here with SEMA Vice President of Finance and Administration George Afremow (center, blue shirt), was ecstatic at finding out that the company had won three SEMA Global Media Awards.Winners Announced at the SEMA Show International Happy Hour

    Nearly 160 SEMA Show exhibitors were notified on Wednesday morning of the recent 2014 SEMA Show that one or more of their products were Global Media Award winners. Twenty-six international journalists sitting on an elite panel from 15 countries chose the products.

    Receiving three Global Media Awards was “probably the biggest highlight out of a week full of highlights for WipeNew,” commented first-time SEMA Show exhibitor Wipe New’s Vice President Nick Naylor.

Internet

  • While untold numbers of businesses are saving money by moving to the cloud, IT experts say that these companies need to ensure that their cloud contracts include ironclad security protections or they’ll suffer an uncertain future.Key Contract Provisions

    While untold numbers of businesses are saving money by moving to the cloud, IT experts say that these companies need to ensure that their cloud contracts include ironclad security protections or they’ll suffer an uncertain future.

    “Look at the news on any given day,” said Ron Zalkind, chief technology officer at CloudLock, a service provider that helps companies secure public cloud accounts, such as Google Apps and Sales Force. “You’ll clearly see that the number of risks and data breaches is accelerating.” Moreover, getting from “uncertainty” to “protected” can be more difficult than you might expect, given that many providers of cloud services are reluctant to put their security assurances in writing.

Required Reading

  • For the first time in its long history, the 2014 SEMA Show ended with an “after party” called SEMA Ignited, where the general public viewed hundreds of cars and trucks from the trade-only event. Thousands of enthusiasts came out to get up close with one-of-a-kind cars, trucks and SUVs. Reporters flocked to SEMA Ignited as well to witness the thrill and excitement of this brand-new venue. Read on to see what reporters had to say about the first-ever SEMA Ignited. And tune in to the one-hour TV special scheduled to air on the Velocity Network in March 2015 to see footage of the event and the Battle of the Builders competition that culminated at SEMA Ignited.

SEMA Heritage

  • Hot Rod magazine’s LeRoi Smith took this photo in the spring of 1963 outside of Barr’s Muffler Shop in Studio City, California, for an article on building a cost-effective exhaust system for an Olds-powered hot-rod roadster. That’s Bobby Barr in the foreground talking to Jerry Eames by the tube bender. This photo is an outtake from the shoot; in the photo that appeared in the magazine, Barr and Eames are far more intent on their work. Hot Rod magazine’s LeRoi Smith took this photo in the spring of 1963 outside of Barr’s Muffler Shop in Studio City, California, for an article on building a cost-effective exhaust system for an Olds-powered hot-rod roadster. That’s Bobby Barr in the foreground talking to Jerry Eames by the tube bender. This photo is an outtake from the shoot; in the photo that appeared in the magazine, Barr and Eames are far more intent on their work.

    According to Smith, the whole exhaust system—the open headers plus cut-outs to glasspack-filled pipes running under the car—cost just $150.