SEMA News

Cover Story

Over the past five decades, SEMA has become world renowned for its annual SEMA Show, but its core mission as a trade association goes much further, extending benefits 365 days a year. To help its members succeed and prosper, SEMA’s year-round work extends to legislative and industry advocacy, the promotion of technology and innovation, market research, education, member services and a host of other important initiatives to encourage marketplace growth. Those goals take leadership, and each year, the SEMA Installation Gala gathers the association together to install newly elected SEMA Board of Directors and council members, say thanks to outgoing officers, and celebrate SEMA’s latest Hall of Fame inductees.

Business

  • Council LeadersSEMA News spoke with SEMA’s council and network leaders to find out what’s in the pipeline for the coming year and to get their thoughts about the emerging trends and the challenges they can expect to face based on what their organizations are seeing in their respective marketplaces. Not surprisingly, many council and network chairs viewed the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act as essential to the continued viability of the automotive aftermarket industry.

  • Pur PerformanceKevin Shine has served St. Charles, Missouri, with automotive knowledge and experience for more than 30 years. He is proud to say that he has reached a point in his career deep enough to accommodate three generations of customers.

  • Additive ManufacturingAdditive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, is a popular and increasingly applied technology in the automotive world. A meticulous, layer-by-layer process, 3D printing offers limitless options and cheaper solutions to manufacturers’ processes.

Business Technology

  • SDC Logo

    The evolution of product data management in the automotive specialty-parts industry has been a journey filled with change. From the earliest pioneering efforts by leading retailers and WDs to the proliferation of solutions available today, the quest for the truth has created substantial confusion and misinformation. I hope to clear up some of that here. Let’s begin with what the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) has set out to accomplish.

Chris Kersting

  • Chris KerstingThose of you who attended our SEMA Show seminar on emissions compliance were reminded that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have the combined authority to enforce anti-tampering regulations in all 50 states—and not just against manufacturers but industry resellers as well. For those who were not able to attend this annual briefing session, attendees had the opportunity to learn more about important new SEMA resources to help members stay in compliance with the law.

Events

  • Pinewood CarsFor the second consecutive year, the 2016 Pinewood Builders Challenge—previously held during SEMA’s Installation Gala—featured head-to-head racing last summer at the National Street Rod Association (NSRA) Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition to the Builders Challenge, a Manufacturers’ Shootout was staged for the second time ever for participating members of the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA).

  • Over the past five decades, SEMA has become world renowned for its annual SEMA Show, but its core mission as a trade association goes much further, extending benefits 365 days a year. To help its members succeed and prosper, SEMA’s year-round work extends to legislative and industry advocacy, the promotion of technology and innovation, market research, education, member services and a host of other important initiatives to encourage marketplace growth. Those goals take leadership, and each year, the SEMA Installation Gala gathers the association together to install newly elected SEMA Board of Directors and council members, say thanks to outgoing officers, and celebrate SEMA’s latest Hall of Fame inductees.

  • Hot Rodders of TomorrowIn 2008, Hot Rodders of Tomorrow (HROT) first received funding as an educational competition for high-school students across the country. The motivation remains just as relevant today: provide a platform for students to gain interest and access into the automotive industry through a team-building challenge. SEMA News spoke with Rodney Bingham, HROT president, among others, to learn more about how the program has grown over the last eight years and how it remains a key point for youth engagement in the automotive industry.

From The Hill

  • California BearIf you sell products into California, chances are you have already heard about the state law known as Proposition 65 (Prop. 65), which gives consumers and their attorneys the ability to sue businesses that do not include warning labels on products containing certain chemicals. Prop. 65 was approved by voters in 1986 to enable Californians to be aware of the presence of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. To achieve this goal, Prop. 65 allows consumers to sue companies that sell products in California that expose consumers to certain chemicals without carrying an acceptable warning.

Government Affairs

  • Law and Order Year in ReviewThe laws and regulations that govern how SEMA members do business have a continuous impact on the way automotive specialty-equipment products are made, distributed and marketed. The charge of the SEMA government affairs office is to stay on top of relevant state and federal legislation and regulations and advocate for industry positions to ensure the best possible outcome for SEMA membership. The following are just a few examples of critical legislative/regulatory successes the SEMA government affairs team was involved in this year.

  • Taking the Mystery Out of PatentsEvery company must do at least one thing better than its competitors in order to survive and grow. This is the company’s competitive advantage. This competitive advantage might come from a special formula, a unique part, a cheaper manufacturing process or simply a better-quality product.

Industry News

  • ’18 Corvette ZR1: The new ZR1 is expected to return with more performance than the last iteration.

    ’19 Toyota Supra: Toyota is reintroducing its Supra sports car through collaboration with BMW and its Z4 roadster replacement, the Z5.

    ’18 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Trackhawk: Jeep’s performance-oriented Grand Cherokee will undergo a number of changes to get it ready for the track.

  • Industry news from SEMA-member companies, including Vipar Heavy Duty, Hypertherm, RealTruck.com, Truck Hero Inc., Champion Brands LLC and more.

  • SEMA Data Co-opNew tools are now available to suppliers in the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC). The new tools, which simplify the data-loading process while supporting the SDC’s top-rated score-carding process, allow suppliers to submit data in all the popular formats, convert and validate the data to industry standards, and store it in an ACES- and PIES-compliant repository with little or no manual intervention.

International

  • 2016 China Business Development ProgramOne in five people in the world reside in just one country: China. A delegation of SEMA-member manufacturers recently traveled to this nation of 1.4 billion people to check out the automotive specialty-equipment market firsthand. During the four-day program, a dozen manufacturers met with pre-vetted buyers, toured top off-road and performance shops and were briefed by U.S. government officials based both in China and at the U.S. Department of Commerce headquarters. The delegation was struck by how the market, while clearly in its early years, has developed such a passionate enthusiast base with such strong potential.

Internet

  • We've Been HackedWhile hackers regularly make digital corpses of computer systems run by global giants and mom-and-pops alike, the hard fact is that few businesses have a plan in place to handle a cyber break-in.

  • Going Native With AdvertisingWhile increasing numbers of companies are moving to “native advertising” (advertising that is woven into the very fabric of content produced by publishers), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned, “Watch your step.” Disturbed by the growing number of ads that are indistinguishable from news, radio commentary, entertainment video and other content, the agency released new rules this past December designed to reign in firms and ad agencies that are taking too free a hand in drawing the line between advertising and content.

  • Video MarketingWhile video marketing is already on the radar of most web-savvy businesses, recent indications are that the medium will continue to explosively transform the internet for years to come. For example, video-based social-media startup Instagram—a mere blip on the web’s radar a few years ago—now boasts nearly 500 million users. Snapchat, another video-centered social-media network is growing nearly as ferociously. And online video king YouTube cruises along these days at more than a billion users. YouTube reaches more 18- to 49-year-olds than any cable TV network in the United States, according to the company’s stats page (www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html).

  • Content MarketingWith most leading businesses devoting more time to content marketing these days—the publishing of articles, videos, images and more to reinforce brand image—it’s more important than ever to ensure that content is optimized for search engines.

Required Reading

  • Chicago TribuneOver the last year, the SEMA Board of Directors—working closely with SEMA members and other industry leaders—has made it a priority to engage the next generation of automotive professionals. The aftermarket has joined together to give today’s youth hands-on experience with vehicle modifications, thereby igniting the passion that many of them already have.

Research

  • 2016 SEMA Pickup ReportFueled by 2.5 million new-pickup sales last year, there are now more than 51 million pickups on U.S. roadways. But how much do aftermarket businesses really know about pickup consumers, their shopping habits and, ultimately, the parts they purchase? Assumptions are one thing, but manufacturers and resellers who truly want marketplace facts to drive their efforts will be interested in the newly released “2016 SEMA Pickup Report” from the association’s market research department.

SEMA Heritage

  • SEMA HeritageJohn Thawley, writing in the September 1967 issue of Hot Rod magazine, perfectly described that ever-elusive Holy Grail of car mods: bolt-on horsepower. Ford lent the magazine a brand-new (1,300-mile) ’67 Mustang with a two-barrel-carbed 289, a C4 automatic transmission and 3.50 gears. Thawley used the chassis dyno at Ak Miller’s Garage to measure the V8’s output and a number of Southern California dragstrips to put his mods to the test.