The Five-Year Perspective: Recently Launched…and What’s Ahead

SEMA News—December 2017

Chris Kersting

The Five-Year Perspective: Recently Launched…and What’s Ahead

Chris KerstingIt’s been roughly five years since SEMA initiated two long-term projects intended to help SEMA members position themselves for growth. The initiatives were born from member requests for help as technology advances have accelerated—both in the workplace and in our automobiles.

The two business services of which I speak—the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) and the SEMA Garage—required considerable research, time and investment to build out. As of today, the industry is clearly getting significant return on those investments. But we’re not done yet.

In a little over five years, the SDC has become the industry’s go-to repository and distributor of industry product data. It now houses some 530 supplier brands, comprising more than 4.6 million live part numbers, which translates to roughly 69.3 million vehicle applications. Manufacturers in the SDC system are rapidly boosting their data quality and completeness: 42% have already elevated their data to Gold or Platinum levels. Meanwhile, more than 1,200 reseller businesses have signed up to download the data; last month, nearly 32,000 data exports were executed. Those metrics tell us that the SDC is indeed helping the industry move forward in our increasingly digital marketplace.

An important SDC benefit for manufacturers is the Product Information Management System (PIMS), a tool made available to all participants in the SDC. Last month at the SEMA Show, the SDC unveiled a new, more user-friendly PIMS that builds on the existing platform but simplifies processes and increases efficiency. Industry members who did not get a glimpse of the new system at the Show are urged to contact the SDC’s Jim Graven ( for a walkthrough. Early user reviews are very positive, and we hope that the new PIMS will make it even easier for more manufacturers to get their product data organized and into the hands—and marketing programs—of the industry’s resellers.

The SEMA Garage is also improving and expanding services in response to industry demand. The Garage was conceived as a way to offer state-of-the-art product-development tools and services and has served the needs of a vast number of SEMA-member companies since opening in 2013. Three different upgrade projects are currently under way at the Garage, all aimed at meeting growing member demand. When those projects are completed, the testing capacity in the emissions lab will be increased, and the ability to conduct new types of tests will be secured.

Digital scanning services have been another area of growth for the Garage, and more members are downloading scans and files from the Tech Transfer portal than ever before. The Tech Transfer team is continuously building the files available in the newly launched scan library, which currently consists of 260 folders containing more than 1,000 individual files, spanning 34 vehicle models from 17 different OEMs. The Tech Transfer team has also been generating data on hard-to-obtain vehicles, including vehicles available only overseas, classic cars and trucks, UTVs, and popular new-model vehicles.

Looking ahead to the next five years, the SEMA Garage is planning for the onslaught of automated driver-assist systems and game-changing emissions regulations. The coming wave of complex vehicle technology will continue to challenge industry members, making the information, tools and expertise of the SEMA Garage even more essential to our members.

Our industry has a long history of turning challenges into opportunities. It was the long-range vision of industry leaders who foresaw the need for the SDC and the SEMA Garage that gave us the tools we have today. Now we are building on that investment to assure that SEMA members will have access to the business-development tools they need to produce high-quality products of the future.

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