Cover Story

In what has become a highly anticipated September tradition, SEMA News is once again pleased to present the annual “35 Under 35” listing of rising industry talent. This marks the fifth anniversary of this special feature, and we think readers will agree that the young trendsetters profiled in the following pages once again prove that the future of the automotive specialty-equipment industry is in extremely capable hands.

Business Technology

  • SDC LogoThe show season rush is officially on, with only about 60 days left before many of us will meet at that grand industry gathering in Las Vegas—the SEMA Show! And nowhere are there more opportunities to bring new products to market, meet with massive numbers of customers and jockey for market position and success in the upcoming selling season.

Chris Kersting

  • Chris KerstingMany of us have seen studies indicating that today’s young people are less interested in owning and driving cars than were prior generations. The statistics suggest that kids might be more likely to hot rod their cell phones and spend money on video games than buy cool stuff for cars.


  • Ed TillrockSlated for November 1–4 in Las Vegas, the 2016 SEMA Show is getting a strikingly fresh graphics makeover, courtesy of the pencilings of celebrated automotive artist Ed Tillrock, whose creative sketchwork will grace not only Show signage but related marketing materials as well. According to Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of communications and events, this new look goes far beyond fresh art demarking Show aisles.

  • Keys to First Time SuccessWith more than 1 million sq. ft. of exhibit space in and around the Las Vegas Convention Center, the annual SEMA Show attracts 160,000 industry leaders from more than 100 countries. In 2015, the Show featured more than 2,400 exhibitors, including 400 first-timers. SEMA offers several tools—the Exhibitor Summit in particular—to help rookie exhibitors succeed.

  • Know Before You ShowFor new exhibitors at the SEMA Show in November, the list of deadlines and paperwork to get done can seem quite daunting. Some of these elements can mean the difference between success and frustration, particularly for first-time exhibitors.

From The Hill

  • Protecting Our Race CarsModifying race cars isn’t just a hobby for Pro-Fabrication Founder and President Steve Sousley—it’s his livelihood. With the looming government threat to the industry, he’s doing all he can to ensure that the future of motorsports is strong.

Government Affairs

  • Law and OrderCalifornia Emissions: In a severe disappointment for the old-car hobby, the California Senate failed to gain final approval for legislation to exempt motor vehicles prior to the ’81 model year from the emissions-inspection requirement. Under the amended bill, vehicles manufactured after the ’76 model year but prior to the ’81 model year would have been exempted if the owner submitted proof that the vehicle was insured as a collector motor vehicle.

Industry News

  • ’18 Range Rover Sport Coupe

    The new model, code named L560, could be named Range Rover Sport Coupe.

    ’17 RAM 2500 Power Wagon Laramie

    Expect to see the Laramie Power Wagon later this year.

    ’18 Jeep Wrangler

    Rumors circulating about the Wrangler point to an eight-speed automatic as the only transmission choice.

  • SEMA Show exhibitors are already gearing up for an exciting Show that will feature new products, technology and innovation. To find out what exhibitors have planned, visit the Online Media Center at

  • Industry news from SEMA-member companies, including Classic Tube,, R&R Marketing Consultants Inc., CRP Automotive and more.


  • SEMA Show International ScheduleTens of thousands of international buyers will be walking the 2016 SEMA Show looking for new products to export to their home markets. How do you, as an exhibitor, connect with these buyers who come to Las Vegas from Australia, the Middle East, Asia, Europe and more than 130 countries? They likely have just a few minutes to stop at any one booth, so how do you grab their attention and maintain their interest in order to introduce yourself and your product, scan their badges or collect their business cards? Here are some tips about how to attract buyers to your booth and what you can do even before the Show begins.

  • Gearheads Gather in MelbourneIn late May, 20 SEMA-member companies ventured to Melbourne, Australia, for the inaugural SEMA Australia Business Development Program. This latest target market for the SEMA overseas development program joined similar programs in China, Russia and the Middle East.


  • Web SurveysNearly as old as the web itself, web survey packages have grown ever more sophisticated over the years—to the point where you can use them to essentially run your own, never-ending focus group online. Moreover, given that there’s a crowded market of web survey providers, many businesses find that they can satisfy all of their surveying needs with the free versions of these solutions—and never upgrade to premium offerings.

Member News

  • SEMA has created and is building upon its programs designed to engage students within the automotive aftermarket industry. These programs are focused on career paths for students, fostering a love for the industry, real-world work experience, and providing financial assistance for school. SEMA student programs provide member companies with year-round opportunities to help develop and inspire the next generation while creating the necessary foundation for students to successfully enter the automotive specialty-equipment industry.

  • SBN LogoThe SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) is proud to announce two new additions and two returning veterans to the select committee. The individuals elected have experience that spans many facets of the automotive industry.

  • MRN LogoThe Manufacturers’ Representative Network (MRN) welcomed three new industry professionals to its select committee. Matt Harless of PSKB Inc. has been a student of the industry and applied what he has learned from colleagues and mentors along the way during his 20-year career in the industry. Mike Katz of Bob Cook Sales comes to the MRN with a vast background in the traditional and retail parts segments of the industry and is passionate about sharing his experiences and knowledge with others. Ken Schuck has 32 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket and is currently an account manager for Keystone Automotive at KAM Marketing.

  • ETTN LogoSEMA recognizes that, with the pace at which technology and trends are changing, influencing and impacting the industry, it is more important than ever for SEMA members to be able to have the opportunity to learn about them. Quick Talks, powered by the Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN), will debut at the 2016 SEMA Show. Quick Talks support the network’s ongoing role as a resource for the automotive industry’s engineers, programmers, designers and product managers.

  • WTC LogoThe Wheel and Tire Council (WTC) installed two industry veterans onto the select committee on July 1. Both individuals bring a wealth of applicable knowledge and experience to their leadership positions. George Finch of The Carlstar Group has been in the wheel segment of the automotive aftermarket industry for 20 years and previously served on the WTC select committee, including as the council’s chairman. Scott Musser comes to the select committee with more than 27 years of wheel industry experience.

  • PRO LogoThe Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) installed two new industry members onto its select committee at the 2016 SEMA Installation and Banquet. The council also welcomed back three incumbents to serve their second terms with the select committee. These elected individuals will serve during the 2016–2018 term and will play a crucial role in moving the council toward its initiatives to better the restyling industry.

  • MPMC LogoThe Motorsports Parts Manufacturer Council (MPMC) elected three motorsports-industry veterans to serve on its select committee. All three individuals will be volunteering their time for two-year terms and will be up for reelection in 2018.

  • HRIA LogoThe Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) select-committee election results are in, and the council welcomes back three incumbents as well as three new industry professionals. These individuals will serve two-year terms and will aid the council in its progression toward key initiatives. The three re-elected incumbents are Dave McKelvey, Ed Capen and Joe Petlick.

People And Places

  • In what has become a highly anticipated September tradition, SEMA News is once again pleased to present the annual “35 Under 35” listing of rising industry talent. This marks the fifth anniversary of this special feature, and we think readers will agree that the young trendsetters profiled in the following pages once again prove that the future of the automotive specialty-equipment industry is in extremely capable hands.

Required Reading

  • SEMA Garage Is Your One-Stop ShopThe automotive consumer and trade media have taken note of the many benefits offered by the SEMA Garage and how manufacturers looking to streamline their research-and-development processes and increase profitability are turning to the SEMA facility. A full-service photo cove, training center, 3D scanning and printing and a complete Technology Transfer program are just some of the many services offered by the Garage.

Retail Store Review

  • Retail Store ReviewButch Dean has been an off-road racer since the early ‘60s, spending a large majority of his life out in the dirt under the Las Vegas sun. Years of not having the right product available at his fingertips eventually led him to open his own retail space in 1968. After decades of reformation and adapting to a changing marketplace, that retail space still stands today as Butch’s Speed Shop.

SEMA Heritage

  • Performance LegacyMost of us would probably consider ourselves fortunate to be remembered for doing one thing really well. As we look back on the life and achievements of performance pioneer Louis Senter, who passed away in May at age 95, the circumstance is different. Senter did so many things so well that it’s difficult to single out one accomplishment as the cornerstone of his legacy.