Cover Story

“Revolutionary—that’s the easiest way to describe it,” said Lance Stander. As the CEO of Superformance, Stander knows a thing or two about replica vehicles. What has him so excited? A new law championed by SEMA and industry-friendly lawmakers in Congress that makes it easier to manufacture replica cars in the United States.

The year 2015 marked the dawn of a new era for the kit-car industry. A provision included in the highway bill now enables low-volume car manufacturers to each produce and sell up to 325 turn-key replica vehicles in the United States and a total of 5,000 worldwide under a simplified regulatory system.

Business Technology

  • SDC LogoI had an interesting conversation with a colleague about how we each shop for items to meet our household, hobby and gifting needs. As someone who has made a living in both wholesale distribution and e-commerce, I find myself especially tuned in to what drives consumers to behave the way they do, so I was particularly interested in what my friend had to say.

Chris Kersting

  • Chris KerstingOur cover story this month calls attention to a significant shift in how the federal government regulates replica cars. Enactment of this law was a great victory for SEMA and the industry, but exactly how this win was achieved is, perhaps, even more important. In many ways, we can chalk it up to a long-term effort to build key relationships.


  • Ford RaptorWhile the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit was more about modern and efficient musclecars such as the Dodge Hemi Hellcat Challenger and Charger, Ford Shelby GT350 and GT Supercar and Cadillac CTS-V, this year’s show had many companies focusing on their lines of pickups that come in many shapes and sizes. With gas prices going lower by the week, light-truck market sales have overtaken sales of cars. A recent article in Automotive News indicated that 60% of new vehicles purchased are now categorized as light trucks.

  • SEMA Launch PadWhat does it take to successfully launch a startup? If you ask someone who’s done it, they’ll tell you at some point during the conversation about the people who helped them along the way. The process of moving a concept to a fully functioning business can be daunting for young entrepreneurs whose resources may be limited, and it’s nearly impossible to accomplish alone.

Government Affairs

  • “Revolutionary—that’s the easiest way to describe it,” said Lance Stander. As the CEO of Superformance, Stander knows a thing or two about replica vehicles. What has him so excited? A new law championed by SEMA and industry-friendly lawmakers in Congress that makes it easier to manufacture replica cars in the United States.

    The year 2015 marked the dawn of a new era for the kit-car industry. A provision included in the highway bill now enables low-volume car manufacturers to each produce and sell up to 325 turn-key replica vehicles in the United States and a total of 5,000 worldwide under a simplified regulatory system.

  • Maryland Historic VehiclesLegislation has been prefiled in Missouri to exempt from sales tax vehicles at least 10 years old with a sales price under $15,000. A separate prefiled bill provides for the parking of unlicensed vehicles on private property if the vehicle is parked within the boundaries of the property, is parked on a surface generally considered to be suitable for parking and is not supported by any device other than its own wheels and tires, except for the limited purpose of repairing the vehicle for a period not to exceed 72 hours.

Industry News

  • ’17 Ford F-350

    The F-350 gets styling more in line with the F-150 that was shown nearly two years ago. 

    ’17 Ford Fiesta

    Shots of the 2017 Ford Fiesta show a revised front-end design reveals a new shape for the grille and air intakes.

    ’17 Ford Escape

    The 2017 Ford Escape features and all-new front clip with a new grille, headlights and fog lights. Out back, it gets an all-new tailgate with new taillights.

    ’17 F-350 SuperCab Dually

    This is one of the first looks at the new Ford Super Duty configured with a SuperCab and Dually setup.

  • Industry news from SEMA-member companies, including Line-X, Meyer Distributing Inc., Federal-Mogul Motorparts, Drake Automotive Group and more.

  • Several vehicles are available through the SEMA Garage to help meet the product-development needs of SEMA members. Whether for product fitment, vehicle measurements or emissions testing and compliance, the vehicles are accessible on site. All that members need to do is schedule an appointment to visit the garage.


  • SEMA International ResourcesWhy export? One of the proven methods to increasing the health of your firm is to diversify your customer base, which can improve your bottom line, lead to product-improvement ideas and improve a firm’s ability to ride out future economic downturns. It is also the way to reach the 97% of consumers residing outside the United States and take advantage of global demand for products made in the United States.


  • CRMMarketers looking for a dashboard to manage every aspect of their interactions with customers will want to take a detailed look at—the number-one-selling customer relationship management (CRM) solution on the market today, according to Capterra, a company that advises businesses on the best software to buy.

Member News

  • LTAA LogoMembers of the Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) showcase their vehicles throughout the SEMA Show each year to promote their products and expertise. LTAA recognizes a handful of amazing vehicles from member companies that have supported SEMA Cares charities during the year by featuring them either in the LTAA booth, on the Show floor or on the outdoor promenade between the South Hall and the Performance Pavilion. Here is an inside look at the LTAA feature vehicles that were at the 2015 SEMA Show, from the owners and builders.

  • SEMA Show Student ProgramThe SEMA Show Student Program offers educators the opportunity to invite qualified and motivated students to attend the annual SEMA Show. The primary objective is to provide students with unique learning experiences that integrate their fields of study with actual business and tradeshow opportunities in the automotive specialty-equipment market.

  • HRIA LogoThe Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) aims to provide programs and effective strategies to ensure the prosperity of the hot-rod industry. Two of the council’s programs are proven successes in raising awareness for the builders of the industry. HRIA’s Feature Vehicle Program and Builder’s Challenge highlight up-and-coming talented builders as well as promote HRIA members’ parts. These programs are produced annually at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

  • ARMO LogoThe automotive specialty-equipment industry is ever growing and changing. Modern technology, quality assurance and innovative products have advanced the industry to new heights. The Automotive Restoration Market Organization’s (ARMO) motto is, “Preserving the future by restoring the past.” Being that the goal of restoration professionals is to restore classic vehicles, what types of new trends do they see in the marketplace today? SEMA Member News caught up with a couple of ARMO’s select committee members to get their thoughts.

  • SEMA provides programs and business solutions to help its members’ businesses grow and succeed. The association is made up of more than 6,000 member companies with varied services, products and niches but one thing in common: a passion for the automotive aftermarket industry. Many of the benefits of a SEMA membership are multifaceted and provide value for both manufacturers and retailers. However, the association recognizes the current-day challenges that brick-and-mortar businesses face and is actively seeking to help find solutions.

  • MRN LogoThe primary objective of the Manufacturers’ Representative Network (MRN) is to provide a forum for manufacturers’ representatives for the purpose of increasing their impact as an industry, exploring issues of common interest and concern, increasing their collective knowledge, and elevating the overall image of the profession. MRN directs its efforts toward addressing key industry issues while developing strategies and programs designed to meet the special needs of manufacturers’ representatives. The network is progressing toward providing tangible programs and creating business opportunities for its membership.

  • ETTN LogoThe mission of SEMA’s Emerging Trends and Technology Network (ETTN) is to identify, understand and communicate emerging trends and technologies that affect or improve the automotive aftermarket, delivering them in a concise manner to business professionals. The network seeks opportunities to gain knowledge from the many niches that SEMA members are involved in.

  • WTC LogoSEMA’s Wheel and Tire Council (WTC) held its annual general membership meeting at SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, California, in early February. Current and aspiring members, council leadership and SEMA staff met to discuss key council priorities in the coming year, including vehicle data, retailer benefits and industry outreach. Council members also discussed the need for acquiring reliable and detailed measurement data on new vehicles, and SEMA Garage staff discussed OEM measuring sessions, the Tech Transfer program and additional resources available through SEMA to supplement the current WTC Wheel Measurement Database.

  • PRO LogoMore than 220 companies belong to SEMA’s Professional Restylers Organization (PRO). PRO represents the collective interests of all SEMA-member companies serving the restyling and accessory market, be they manufacturers, warehouse distributors, manufacturers’ reps or restylers and installers. Some of the initiatives that PRO leads include dealer awareness, marketing tools and resources for restylers, networking opportunities and industry recognition.

  • MPMC LogoThe Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) offered a full slate of activities at the recent Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show, held December 10–15, 2015, in Indianapolis. Events included a general membership meeting, a Hall of Fame reception and educational seminars.

  • SEMA’s Young Executives Network (YEN) is gearing up for its annual participation in the Hot Rod Power Tour. For the past two years, 10 YEN members have embarked on the Hot Rod Power Tour—an epic, week-long, cross-country journey that generates awareness of the hobby and industry.

  • SBNMore than 500 women professionals in the automotive aftermarket industry belong to the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN). The women of the SBN are a dynamic group of individuals who are passionate about the advancement of women in the industry. The network provides members with programs and opportunities for personal growth. One of the network’s main initiatives is to reach out to the younger generation and act as mentors.

New Products

  • Racing and Performance New ProductsRacing & Performance continues to be the largest section at the SEMA Show, increasing steadily in net square footage from year to year. In 2015, exhibitors also entered nearly 1,000 racing and performance products into the New Products Showcase—growth of more than 25% over 2014. LED lights and EFI solutions were among the most-scanned products that piqued buyer interest. Other standouts included Brembo’s B-M8 monobloc caliper, winner of the Best Engineered New Product award; C&R Performance’s drag race barrel intercooler, winner of the Best Performance-Racing Product award; and aFe Power’s DFS780 series diesel fuel system, winner of the Performance-Street Product award.

Required Reading

  • Auto ZuliaWith thousands of innovative manufacturers showcasing new products at the SEMA Show, the annual trade-only event is where reporters from around the world go to obtain valuable editorial content. In fact, reporters from more than 130 countries travel thousands of miles each year to spend nearly an entire week in Las Vegas, knowing that they will leave the SEMA Show with an abundance of content that they can share with their readers.

SEMA Heritage

  • Mickey Thompson and Bill BurkePetersen Publishing Company photographer Pat Brollier captured two hot-rodding legends hard at work on this day in May 1961. On the left is Mickey Thompson, who a year earlier became the first American to go faster than 400 mph in his four-engine Challenger streamliner on the Bonneville Salt Flats. On the right is Bill Burke, who set a personal milestone of his own at Bonneville in 1960.