SEMA News

Cover Story

It takes dedication, hard work and drive to build and grow an automotive specialty-equipment business. Even more so to grow an entire industry. Yet to help its members succeed and prosper, SEMA relies on individuals from every industry segment to step forward and bring their own vision and initiative. Consequently, it seems only fitting once a year to celebrate an individual whose contributions best embody this SEMA mission. For 2015, that individual is Kathryn Reinhardt of MagnaFlow, who found herself named SEMA Person of the Year at the recent 2015 SEMA Show Industry Banquet in Las Vegas.

Business

  • 2016 Wheel & Tire TrendsFrom the influence of Internet sales to the integration of new materials and advanced manufacturing processes, the tire and wheel industries remain in flux. A tire tariff that threatened significant upheaval seems to have been overstated, but brick-and-mortar retailers are seeing the unmistakable effect of online sales. On the wheel side, flow forming, carbon fiber, concave designs and translucent colors are emerging trends.

Business Technology

  • SDC LogoAs the staff at the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) works each day with newly onboarded suppliers and coaches good data habits to existing members, a common and disturbing theme continues to appear in our quest to build the definitive data repository for the specialty parts marketplace. That theme is the lack of understanding of the difference between data completeness and data quality.

Chris Kersting

  • Chris KerstingMember businesses tell us that finding qualified prospects to fill jobs is among their toughest challenges. Our members are seeking the next generation of workers—the people who will bring the kind of skills, energy and ideas that every business needs to grow and prosper.

Events

  • Global Media AwardsTo highlight and recognize the global reach of vehicle personalization and customization, the 2015 SEMA Show marked the 12th time a prestigious global panel of 31 journalists from 19 countries was charged with selecting 10 products each from the New Products Showcase that they believed would resonate among consumers in their markets. The task was made more difficult in that this year’s New Products Showcase featured the largest number of new products ever—more than 2,700—covering the broad span of the industry from performance-street to Off-Road/4WD and street-rod/custom car products.

  • SEMA Cares JeepOmix-ADA showcased a custom Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited built in support of SEMA Cares at its Off-Road Success Center during the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, marking the third time that Omix-ADA has partnered with SEMA Cares over the past three years. The first was with a donation of $50,000 in 2013. Last year, it was with the first-ever offering of a custom-built Jeep Wrangler, with all proceeds going to the charity.

  • Global Tire Expo 2015Held in conjunction with the recent 2015 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.

  • Battle of the BuildersThe SEMA Battle of the Builders competition is described as the ultimate challenge for vehicle builders. With customizers showcasing their newest creations at the SEMA Show, the 2015 competition featured more than 200 submissions, with builders vying for the title of Top Builder.

  • 2015 Los Angeles Auto ShowAt the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, leading automotive manufacturers debuted new and updated models and announced recent sales results for an assembled throng of media. Many of the brands touted improved technologies for safety and entertainment, staying true to the connected nature of today’s automotive market. Some of the announcements held particular relevance for specialty-equipment manufacturers. Here is a look at what’s in store from a few of the automakers.

From The Hill

  • Making Capitol ConnectionsIn Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the country, it’s all about who you know. Strength is often measured by the size of your Rolodex, especially when seeking to advocate on behalf of the American automotive specialty-equipment industry. Through a variety of programs initiated over the years, the industry has connected with some of the most important contacts: politicians.

Government Affairs

  • Law & OrderWisconsin Collector Vehicle Appreciation Day: An Assembly Joint Resolution was introduced to annually designate the second Friday in July as Collector Vehicle Appreciation Day in the state. Six years ago, in an effort to raise awareness of the vital role automotive restoration and collection plays in American society, SEMA announced the second Friday in July as an annual commemoration of collector vehicles. The next Collector Car Appreciation Day will be celebrated on July 8, 2016.

Industry News

  • While thousands of industry professionals gathered at the 2015 SEMA Show, millions of enthusiasts throughout the world tuned in to the Velocity Network to see live coverage from the exclusive trade show.

  • Industry news from SEMA-member companies, including Edelbrock LLC, Bondurant Racing School, DECKED, Firestone Industrial Products Company and more.

  • ’17 Ford Raptor

    The production version has been seen before, but this is the first time all of the variants have been spotted. Both an extended cab and a four-door crew cab will be offered.

    ’17 F-450 Single-Cab Chassis Cab

    Like the other Super Duty models, the F-450 single cab should be similar in design to the F-150 but with the Super Duty’s front end and more aggressive styling. That said, space for passengers should be improved over outgoing models.

Internet

  • Beyond the PasswordThose vague promises that hackable passwords would one day be replaced with much more secure alternatives to protect our digital lives are finally coming true. Yahoo has come out with a new app called Account Key for smartphones that has completely eliminated the need to use an ID and password to access e-mail. Instead, users trying to log onto Yahoo e-mail can now be sent a message to their smartphones asking, “Are you trying to log on?” When the user provides a single tap “Yes” on the smartphone screen, Yahoo instantly provides access to the e-mail, completely eliminating the need to enter an ID or password.

New Products

  • ZenReplacing wheels can create an enormous change in the appearance of any vehicle, and properly selected wheels are also performance parts that reduce unsprung weight and improve handling. That’s why the wheel segment continues to be among the most robust in the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Wheel builders continue to refine manufacturing techniques such as laser cutting for high-quality surface finishes and evolving designs that include deep concaves, mesh spokes and revolving caps.

  • Tire ProductsIn addition to co-presenting the annual Global Tire Expo (GTE)—Powered by the Tire Industry Association, the annual SEMA Show’s New Products Showcase also features a tire category with product for passenger cars, trucks and off-roading as well as associated equipment such as tire-pressure monitoring sensors, tire changers, sealants and more. The following pages provide a look at the entries in the tire section of the Showcase, with dozens of introductions and innovations for tire dealers and businesses that offer tire-related products.

People And Places

  • It takes dedication, hard work and drive to build and grow an automotive specialty-equipment business. Even more so to grow an entire industry. Yet to help its members succeed and prosper, SEMA relies on individuals from every industry segment to step forward and bring their own vision and initiative. Consequently, it seems only fitting once a year to celebrate an individual whose contributions best embody this SEMA mission. For 2015, that individual is Kathryn Reinhardt of MagnaFlow, who found herself named SEMA Person of the Year at the recent 2015 SEMA Show Industry Banquet in Las Vegas.

Required Reading

  • Required ReadingFor nearly 50 years, the annual SEMA Show has served as the premier gathering for the automotive industry. When SEMA Ignited debuted in 2014, it gave consumers a chance to join in the excitement at the official SEMA Show after-party. With thousands of consumers and automotive enthusiasts in attendance, the 2015 SEMA Ignited made news. The event gave consumers a chance to get up close to one-of-a-kind vehicle builds, meet celebrities and bear witness as the winner of the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition was announced.

Retail Store Review

  • Solar Shade Truck & Car ParadiseFounded in 1979 and remotely located in Waynesville, Ohio, Ken Steele’s Solar Shade Truck & Car Paradise remains steadfastly brick-and-mortar in a day when online retailers are increasingly pressuring such business models. Yet after laboring through some admittedly tough early days, Steele has built a profitable three-bay, 6,000-sq.-ft. retail operation that sells and installs an impressively wide range of aftermarket accessories, including window tinting and trike conversions. In the process, he’s attracted a loyal customer following throughout his far-flung region.

SEMA Heritage

  • SEMA HeritageWhile in the Petersen Archive researching last month’s tribute to George Barris, we ran across this photo of the ’55 Lincoln Futura show car. The man under the canopy is Benson Ford, son of Edsel and grandson of Henry Ford, who was taking the sharp-edged show car for a publicity spin around Manhattan.