Cover Story

By definition, the SEMA Hall of Fame was created to recognize outstanding persons in the automotive specialty industry whose creativity, dignity, integrity, industriousness and accomplishments, on a national basis, have enhanced the stature of, and significantly contributed to, the industry’s growth. Established in 1969, the award is the automotive aftermarket industry’s highest honor.



  • SEMA Show New Products ShowcaseThe year 2015 proved to be one of growth and development for the Tools & Equipment segment of the automotive aftermarket. For example, the SEMA Show New Products Showcase demonstrated 22% growth in the Tools & Equipment section, totaling 195 product entries. The array of products entered included everything from glass-removing robots to an automotive battery analyzer.

  • Peter TreydtePeter Treydte is the manager of the SEMA Compliance Center, where his role is to provide a bridge between SEMA members and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Treydte spent more than 20 years working for a member company, where a large portion of his responsibility was making sure that products were emissions-compliant. As a result, Treydte has substantial experience in working with CARB. SEMA News recently spent some time with Treydte, during which he explained the basics of emissions compliance, including products that require testing, first steps and test vehicles, as well as the cost and time for the entire process.

Business Technology

  • SDC LogoIn the grand scheme of things, the automotive specialty parts and accessories business is relatively new compared to the replacement-parts side of the business, which has been serving up repair parts as long as there have been automobiles. In that extra 50 years or so, the replacement segment set new standards in business processes, inventory management, manufacturing and cataloging that specialty-parts businesses had to catch up on. So it’s only natural that what might be a tried-and-true process for the replacement folks could feel like something new to us. Right?

Chris Kersting

  • Chris KerstingAn important element of SEMA’s mission is to undertake challenging projects that many individual member companies could not afford on their own. Establishing a data co-op, building an emissions-compliance center and maintaining a comprehensive legislative/regulatory team in Washington, D.C., are all examples of significant programs SEMA delivers for its members. Another valuable member benefit—market research—is intended to help member companies better understand their marketplace, plan for the future, and take advantage of emerging trends.


  • In June, 10 members of SEMA’s Young Executives Network (YEN) set out on the Hot Rod Power Tour. The network, which has a stated goal of cultivating talents and facilitating connections for SEMA-member company employees under age 40, has offered this program for the past three years in order to raise industry awareness and create connection points for up-and-coming industry leaders.

From The Hill

  • Let's Get Ready to RumbleTake everything you think you know about presidential elections and throw it out the window. Conventional wisdom? Trash it. The status quo? Forget about it. The political establishment? It’s a thing of the past. That’s the 2016 presidential election in a nutshell. There are just a few months to go before voters head to the polls, and until now, it’s been a wild ride filled with twists and turns. How did we get here? What does the future hold? We’ll attempt to make sense of it all.

Government Affairs

  • Vehicle SoftwareGearheads have been dealing with vehicle software since the early ’80s, when microcontroller chips were installed to facilitate the shift from carburation to electronic fuel-injection technology. Swapping out the chips in these vehicles quickly became a preferred method for improving engine performance.

  • Alabama TitlesAlabama Titles: Legislation was signed into law by Governor Robert J. Bentley to exempt motor vehicles more than 35 years old from the requirement that they have certificates of title. Previously, only vehicles of model-year ’74 and older were exempted. Trailers 20 model years old and older are also to be exempted under the new law. Previously, only trailers of the ’89 model year and earlier were exempted. The law takes effect on January 1, 2017.

  • In the months since the legislation was introduced, support for the RPM Act in Congress has grown tremendously. The legislation remains essential to the future of motorsports. Despite recently withdrawing language from a proposed regulation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to claim that it has the authority to regulate street cars modified exclusively for the track. If the EPA decided to enforce this authority, it would have a devastating impact on businesses that supply motorsports products, jeopardizing the jobs and communities the industry supports.

  • Scoop on the RPM ActWhile the term “lobbyist” may, in certain circles, conjure a less-than-flattering image of Gucci shoes, limitless expense accounts and golf vacations to Scotland, I can assure you as SEMA’s congressional affairs manager that this image bears little resemblance to the day-to-day life advocating for SEMA and its members. In their purest form, lobbyists represent companies and hard-working Americans before lawmakers and regulators. These advocates serve an important role in the lawmaking process by providing issue-specific expertise and explaining the impact and unintended consequences of legislation or proposed regulations to members of Congress and their staffs.

  • State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership CaucusThere is an old saying in racing, “It’s not who you know; it’s who knows you.” It’s what opens the door for you to a new sponsor for your car, to get that experimental part a company is developing, and many other befits. Frankly, it makes it easier for you to be successful in the racing and performance industry.

  • SAN BannerFor those unaware, the pro-hobby bill comes in response to a proposed regulation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that would have made illegal the act of converting a street vehicle or motorcycle into a race vehicle used exclusively at the track if the emissions system is taken out of compliance from its stock configuration.

  • Bonneville Salt FlatsUtah’s Bonneville Salt Flats are a unique land formation that beckon visitors from around the world. For racers, the surface is unequaled. The hard salt crust is perfect for both speed and safety. For SEMA members, it is our heritage. Member products and sponsored race teams have helped set scores of world records.

Industry News

  • ’18 Jeep Wrangler

    More insight into what the next iteration of the iconic Jeep should look like.

    Nissan Titan Sport Truck

    Nissan may add more derivatives of the standard-cab Titan, with what looks to be a more aggressive version.

  • Industry news from SEMA-member companies, including Betts Truck Parts & Service, Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation, Denso Products and Services Americas Inc., Hunter Engineering and more.

  • With the Priority Selection Process complete, there are three recommended next steps for exhibitors to save time and be better prepared as Show time approaches.

New Products

  • Impala Seat TracksAccording to the 2015 SEMA Market Research Report, the restoration product niche totaled more than $1.4 billion in sales in 2014. The niche has been on a steady market recovery since the 2008 recession, showing strong signs of improvement each year. The following is a compendium of the products that will help extend growth in future years from the 2015 SEMA Show.

  • 132 Piece Tool CaseThe Tools & Equipment section was one of the most-visited destinations in the North Hall at the 2015 SEMA Show. More than 200 exhibitors displayed products, including specialized tools and equipment, uniforms and other supplies. Additionally, close to 200 products were entered into the 2015 New Products Showcase. You’ll find those entries here for your perusal—all designed to up the efficiency of your next project.

People And Places

  • Chris DouglasResults of the 2016 SEMA Board of Directors election are in, with Chris Douglas from COMP Performance Group, Kyle Fickler of Aeromotive Inc. and Les Rudd from Bob Cook Sales elected to serve on the Board. While Fickler is a current SEMA Board member who was re-elected into the group, Douglas and Rudd will join as the newest members of the Board.

  • By definition, the SEMA Hall of Fame was created to recognize outstanding persons in the automotive specialty industry whose creativity, dignity, integrity, industriousness and accomplishments, on a national basis, have enhanced the stature of, and significantly contributed to, the industry’s growth. Established in 1969, the award is the automotive aftermarket industry’s highest honor.


Required Reading

  • DrvieArabiaAs worldwide interest and enthusiasm for vehicle customization grows, SEMA is right there in some of the most promising international markets to help its manufacturers deliver the products sought by enthusiasts around the world. One of the most exciting markets is in the Middle East where SEMA organizes a trade-only SEMA section at the annual Custom Show Emirates in Abu Dhabi. Approximately 40 U.S. manufacturers were able to meet one-on-one with pre-vetted buyers from 10 countries in the region. SEMA’s international activities are garnering regional media attention, as seen below.

Retail Store Review

  • Retail SpotlightHoused in an 80,000-sq.-ft. facility in Placentia, California, with 72 employees, Classic Performance Products (CPP) specializes in manufacturing and selling steering, brakes and suspension components for classic cars. The company’s niche market is mid- to late-’70s and earlier vehicles, with a heavy emphasis on GM, but it also ventures into the Ford and MOPAR arenas, according to CPP President Jim Ries.

SEMA Heritage

  • Triple Threat CoupeBefore he became the first man to set land-speed records above 500 and 600 mph in the mid ’60s, Craig Breedlove was a hot rodder, like many other young Southern Californians in the ’50s and early ’60s. He raced at dragstrips, on the dry lakes and at the Bonneville Salt Flats, where he would later make history in the Spirit of America and Sonic I jet cars. Photos of him with various cars showed up in Hot Rod magazines of the era, including a three-page feature on this “triple-threat” ’34 Ford coupe that was photographed by Petersen lensman Eric Rickman for the magazine’s September 1960 issue.