SEMA News

Cover Story

Kawasaki has been working in the industry for nearly 40 years and began volunteering for SEMA when he started his first company, Exports International, in the late ’80s. Since then, Kawasaki has held key elected positions and appointments, including three terms on the SEMA Board of Directors as SEMA secretary/treasurer and as chairman of the SEMA Show Committee, and he was appointed by the United States Secretary of Commerce to the Automotive Parts Advisory Council.

Business

  • Project UnderdogProject Underdog, a highly customized ’72 Ford Maverick originally conceived by actor Sung Kang, is finished, fine-tuned, revved and ready for auction. Sponsored by Shell and featuring Pennzoil, and supported by Ford Motor Co., Samsung, Nitto, GReddy, Rocket Bunny and Facebook, the unique vehicle build was completed at the SEMA Garage in Diamond Bar, California, with specialized tuning provided by Cobb Tuning, headquartered in Austin, Texas.

  • Retail SpotlightTeaming up 12 years ago, siblings Cole Shaffer and Kellie Pitre set out to buy and resurrect University Auto Parts, a NAPA outlet in Boulder, Colorado. Pitre’s role in the rapid parlaying of that store into a $10 million family business of three successful locations earned her 2016 recognition on the annual SEMA News “35 Under 35” roster of up-and-coming industry professionals. Since last year, that collection of Colorado locations has grown to a total of five.

Business Technology

  • SDCI cannot begin to count how many times I heard this phrase when I was growing up. My dad was a mechanic who worked incredibly hard for every dollar he earned. He always smelled like a garage (not a bad thing) and frequently had to work on his own car or home after a long day of work or over a well-deserved weekend.

Chris Kersting

  • Chris Kersting

    SEMA has a long history of working with young people to help them find their way in our industry. One of the earliest initiatives, the Young Executives Network, now has more than 1,200 members, providing a broad base for peer-group interaction and networking.

Events

  • Firing on All CylindersOften considered the mecca for the automotive specialty-equipment industry, the annual SEMA Show, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, attracts more than 160,000 industry leaders from more than 100 countries. In 2016, the Show featured 2,325 exhibitors, including 383 first-timers—many of whom attended the Exhibitor Summit in June to help them prepare for the big stage.

  • Tom GattusoSEMA Trade Shows Director Tom Gattuso has been involved with trade shows for decades, which puts him in a position to share information with trade show exhibitors about how to succeed. In the following interview, Gattuso outlines best practices on how to manage time, utilize marketing better and, ultimately, come away with the optimum return on your SEMA Show investment.

  • exhibitorsFor attendees of the 2017 SEMA Show, preparation is already well underway. It’s now time for buyers to begin acquainting themselves with the online floorplan (www.SEMAShow.com/floorplan) and researching exhibitors. The best place to start is with the following listing of first-time exhibitors—more than 230 companies that are potential leads for new products and business opportunities.

From The Hill

  • BishopLike many congressmen, U.S. Representative Sanford Bishop (D-GA) has been bestowed with many honors and titles during his lifetime. Among them are husband, father, grandfather, Eagle Scout, soldier, Mason, Shriner, cancer survivor and black belt, just to name a few. Recently, Congressman Bishop added another title to his collection: co-chair of the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus.

Government Affairs

  • Law and OrderDelaware Emissions: Legislation was approved by the Transportation, Land Use and Infrastructure Committee to extend the emissions-inspection exemption for new cars from five to seven model years. Emissions inspections are required for vehicles being registered or titled for the first time and are then biennial based on the vehicle’s model year (during registration renewals). The bill has now been sent to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote by all members.

Industry News

  • Industry news from SEMA-member companies, including National Performance Warehouse, Hellwig Products, Luken Communications, and VP Racing Fuels

  • The Online Media Center is now up and running at www.SEMAShow.com/press. Companies exhibiting at the 2017 SEMA Show can submit press releases to generate excitement for products and Show-related announcements.

  • ’19 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Diesel: On top of having diesel pumped into the truck, 100% certainty can be gleaned from the fuel door cover, which reads “Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel Only.”

    ’19 GT500 With Supercharged 5.2 FPC Engine: Production versions of the GT500 will have a supercharged 5.2L flat-plane-crank engine through a DCT transmission.

International

  • australiaA good market with lots of potential” is how participants on the 2017 SEMA Australia trip summed up the Australian market in a post-trip survey. A full 100% of the participants completing the survey reported developing promising business leads that are expected to result in sales.

Internet

  • ToolboxWhile it’ll be awhile before we can all have an IBM Watson supercomputer sitting atop our desktops, there are a number of artificial intelligence (AI) business tools you can use right now that will help you run smarter, faster and ahead of the competition. Essentially, these next-generation wonders tap into artificial intelligence’s ability to do a lot of the thinking and strategizing for you.

  • encryptWhile any sort of website identity theft is alarming, the version that results in a hacker taking command and control of your website—and ultimately of your business dealings—is especially brutal. Under that scenario, hackers find a way to break into your website and then take over all of the interfaces your business uses to operate that website.

Member News

  • SEMA’s education team launched its Career Services program in the first quarter of 2016 and has received significant support from employers in the industry. Many successful new initiatives and events have taken place since then to help strengthen the employment market in the automotive aftermarket industry.

  • SEMA’s education team launched its Career Services program in the first quarter of 2016 and has received significant support from employers in the industry. Many successful new initiatives and events have taken place since then to help strengthen the employment market in the automotive aftermarket industry.

  • The SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN) has continued to not only grow its membership of young automotive professionals but also to improve upon and create new programs for its members. As the 2017 SEMA Show approaches, YEN is excited to announce the opportunities that young professionals have to connect with each other and YEN’s leadership during the week of the Show.

  • The SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN) has continued to not only grow its membership of young automotive professionals but also to improve upon and create new programs for its members. As the 2017 SEMA Show approaches, YEN is excited to announce the opportunities that young professionals have to connect with each other and YEN’s leadership during the week of the Show.

  • The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) is dedicated to the advancement and empowerment of women who work in the automotive aftermarket industry. Through community and education, SBN has been providing women with the opportunity to connect with each other, become more engaged in the industry, and develop themselves professionally.

  • The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) is dedicated to the advancement and empowerment of women who work in the automotive aftermarket industry. Through community and education, SBN has been providing women with the opportunity to connect with each other, become more engaged in the industry, and develop themselves professionally.

  • Manufacturers’ representatives play an important role in the automotive aftermarket industry and can play an important role in your company, as well. Utilizing rep agencies can expand your presence in the market, reach new customers, and be a great complement to your current sales force. Many manufacturers are utilizing the services of independent sales reps and consider them as instrumental pieces in their overall sales goals.

  • Manufacturers’ representatives play an important role in the automotive aftermarket industry and can play an important role in your company, as well. Utilizing rep agencies can expand your presence in the market, reach new customers, and be a great complement to your current sales force. Many manufacturers are utilizing the services of independent sales reps and consider them as instrumental pieces in their overall sales goals.

  • The Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN) is a community within SEMA geared toward automotive aftermarket engineering, design and technology professionals, providing a forum for them to connect, collaborate, learn and advance their careers. ETTN is offering many opportunities for those types of professionals at this year’s SEMA Show.

  • The Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN) is a community within SEMA geared toward automotive aftermarket engineering, design and technology professionals, providing a forum for them to connect, collaborate, learn and advance their careers. ETTN is offering many opportunities for those types of professionals at this year’s SEMA Show.

People And Places

  • Kawasaki has been working in the industry for nearly 40 years and began volunteering for SEMA when he started his first company, Exports International, in the late ’80s. Since then, Kawasaki has held key elected positions and appointments, including three terms on the SEMA Board of Directors as SEMA secretary/treasurer and as chairman of the SEMA Show Committee, and he was appointed by the United States Secretary of Commerce to the Automotive Parts Advisory Council.

  • 35 Under 35From a generational perspective, the early days of the automotive specialty-equipment industry were exciting times. Pioneering names became the legendary “garage innovators” of speed and performance products who ultimately changed not only how racers competed on the track but also the ways average consumers everywhere drove on the street.

Required Reading

  • Four WheelerThanks to a better economy and lower gas prices, trucks have made a comeback in the aftermarket. As a result, they had a major presence at the 2016 SEMA Show. From classics such as a ’41 Dodge Power Wagon and a ’58 Jeep FC170 that was named a SEMA Battle of the Builders Top 10 finalist to modern marvels such as a ’17 Ford F-250 and a ’16 Nissan Titan XD with 37-in. tires, almost every type of pickup ever produced was displayed at the SEMA Show.

SEMA Heritage

  • heritageAuto racing is a dangerous sport. Always has been. The challenge of mitigating the potential for injury—or worse—has resulted in technological advances in every aspect of racing, from the driver’s personal gear to vehicle structure and even the construction of the race venue.