SEMA News

Cover Story

For many in the custom-car industry, the SEMA Battle of the Builders is a chance to prove that they are among the best. The 2017 competition began with nearly 300 applications from builders representing an elite group of individuals who have demonstrated extreme talent, creativity and craftsmanship in modifying cars, trucks and SUVs. The field was not only the largest to date but was also deep in entries of exceptional quality. This year also saw the expansion of the Young Guns recognition, which shines the light on young, up-and-coming builders in the automotive industry.

 

Business

  • ADASWith 2018 well under way, if your business hasn’t yet tapped into the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) aftermarket, doing so now could have you leading a new trend. Available from a range of infotainment and consumer-electronics manufacturers, current aftermarket safety-enhancement offerings run the gamut from do-it-yourself to professionally installed products encompassing head-up displays, forward-crash avoidance, blind-spot detection, night vision, lane-departure warning, adaptive front lighting, and surround-view camera systems, along with backup cameras and sensors. What’s more, their market potential is huge.

Business Technology

  • I was on a business trip recently and found myself with a bit of downtime in the morning. I had a couple of hours before I needed to be anywhere, so I turned on the TV and immediately became immersed in a movie. When I made mention of the movie to a colleague, she asked if I had read the book. I had not. Nor will I. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy a good book; I simply enjoy a good movie more. While some might say that the preference of a movie over a book makes me a simpleton, I disagree.

Chris Kersting

  • Chris KerstingIn this issue, we review highlights of the Battle of the Builders competition, which has become one of the industry’s notable and prestigious vehicle-build competitions in just a few short years. Celebrating this year’s top builders is also an opportunity to note that Battle of the Builders and SEMA Ignited were launched so that more people all over the world could get a chance to see—and be inspired by—the incredible vehicles, innovative products and gearhead personalities gathered at the trade-only SEMA Show. From social media to top publications and conventional television, the visibility of content from the Battle of the Builders is the result of SEMA and our industry members working together to help grow the base of enthusiasts and our future market.

Events

  • Launch PadFurthering SEMA’s interest in identifying young, creative leaders and supporting entrepreneurial initiatives, the Young Executives Network (YEN) has produced the Launch Pad competition for the past five years. Through each stage of the competition, the program teaches participants how to evaluate their markets, communicate the benefits of their products, and market them effectively.

  • SilveradoDespite sporadic gas prices across the country, Americans’ love affair with their trucks is stronger than ever, and so is brand loyalty among consumers. The light-duty truck market is heating up as Chevrolet, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) revealed new models from their clandestine design and engineering arsenals at Detroit’s 2018 North American International Auto Show. That event in the Motor City is basically in the backyard of the domestic OEMs. GM, Ford and FCA may feel that they have home-court advantage, but it’s anyone’s game in this ongoing battle for pickup supremacy.

  • For many in the custom-car industry, the SEMA Battle of the Builders is a chance to prove that they are among the best. The 2017 competition began with nearly 300 applications from builders representing an elite group of individuals who have demonstrated extreme talent, creativity and craftsmanship in modifying cars, trucks and SUVs. The field was not only the largest to date but was also deep in entries of exceptional quality. This year also saw the expansion of the Young Guns recognition, which shines the light on young, up-and-coming builders in the automotive industry.

From The Hill

  • From The HillPresident Trump signed a Republican-supported bill into law that overhauls the U.S. tax code and reduces taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next decade. The U.S. Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) just before Christmas. It provides the most sweeping changes to the federal tax code in decades while reducing tax bills for businesses and workers alike.

Government Affairs

  • Law and OrderWisconsin Emissions: Legislation has been introduced in the Wisconsin Assembly to provide an emissions-testing exemption for vehicles that are at least 10 model years old. The SEMA-supported bill has been referred to the Transportation Committee. Under current law, the emissions-test exemption for older cars is restricted to ’95 and earlier vehicles.

Industry News

  • ’19 Chevrolet Silverado 1500: GM is expected to make radical changes to its fullsize pickups in the form of aluminum-intensive construction to shed weight and improve efficiency.

    ’19 Ford Ranger XLT: It is now confirmed that the XLT will receive its own unique grille (following in the footsteps of the F-150 lineup).

    ’19 RAM: Continuing with the steel body for the RAM 1500 is a break from Ford’s pattern for weight savings on a fullsize truck.

    ’19 Jeep Scrambler Pickup: The truck is expected to be based on the long-wheelbase Wrangler Unlimited platform, with similar front-end styling and traditional Jeep styling toward the rear.

  • Industry news from SEMA-member companies, including Lumileds, VP Racing Fuels, Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels and Turn 14 Distribution.

  • SEMA will partner with the Collision Repair Education Foundation and the TechForce Foundation to host a transportation (collision, auto service, heavy duty, etc.) career fair on March 16, at the SEMA Garage in Diamond Bar, California. Hundreds of high-school and college students and industry employers are expected to attend the event

International

  • MexicoThere are a number of reasons for automotive specialty-equipment companies to consider exporting products to Mexico. Here are 10 good ones.

Internet

  • WebIn a move to stop the online ad market from imploding, Google will roll out its own ad blocker in early 2018, designed to neutralize annoying, intrusive advertising on the web. The new Google strategy will significantly impact any business that advertises on an internet website. In a phrase: Unless you play nice with your web advertising, Google is going to shut you down in 2018.

Member News

  • The Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) is once again hosting the Hot Products Showcase, taking place April 19–21 at the Spring Carlisle Collector Car Swap Meet, Corral & Auction in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. This event is an opportunity for ARMO members to display one or more products at one of the largest gatherings of automotive restoration enthusiasts in the world.

  • In any market, trends usually come and go with the primary purpose of altering outward appearances. Some fads, like fuel, burn out fast. But some stay for the long run. When it comes to current trends in restyling, members of the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) know what’s hot in the aftermarket world right now.

  • The SEMA Garage underwent a renovation that has expanded the one-of-a-kind space. The expansion allows for additional square footage to service more SEMA-member companies at any given time. But perhaps, most importantly, the renovation has made room for an improved emissions lab, which now tests for particulate matter.

  • Weeks after the 2017 SEMA Show, members of the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) packed their bags and headed to Indianapolis for a week full of exhibiting, client meetings and networking at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show. MPMC hosted several events and educational seminars at the show so that MPMC members as well as non-members experienced the valuable benefits the council offers.

  • The Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) will make its presence known at the much-anticipated Easter Jeep Safari (EJS) in Moab, Utah. Although avid off-roaders and LTAA members already attend this annual four-wheeling event, LTAA members are getting together this year for the first time to celebrate all things off-road at an LTAA-hosted reception.

  • The Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) Feature Vehicle Program is designed to bring attention to and highlight the works of builders in the hot-rod industry. Each year, 10 builders are selected to have their one-of-a-kind projects featured at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Three vehicles are displayed in the shared ARMO/HRIA booth located in Hot Rod Alley within Central Hall, and six are displayed at the banquet hall where the well-attended HRIA reception is held. One final vehicle is stationed in an alternate position that also gets plenty of foot traffic.

  • The Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) Feature Vehicle Program is designed to bring attention to and highlight the works of builders in the hot-rod industry. Each year, 10 builders are selected to have their one-of-a-kind projects featured at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Three vehicles are displayed in the shared ARMO/HRIA booth located in Hot Rod Alley within Central Hall, and six are displayed at the banquet hall where the well-attended HRIA reception is held. One final vehicle is stationed in an alternate position that also gets plenty of foot traffic.

  • The Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) Feature Vehicle Program is designed to bring attention to and highlight the works of builders in the hot-rod industry. Each year, 10 builders are selected to have their one-of-a-kind projects featured at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Three vehicles are displayed in the shared ARMO/HRIA booth located in Hot Rod Alley within Central Hall, and six are displayed at the banquet hall where the well-attended HRIA reception is held. One final vehicle is stationed in an alternate position that also gets plenty of foot traffic.

  • The Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) is once again hosting the Hot Products Showcase, taking place April 19–21 at the Spring Carlisle Collector Car Swap Meet, Corral & Auction in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. This event is an opportunity for ARMO members to display one or more products at one of the largest gatherings of automotive restoration enthusiasts in the world.

  • The SEMA Garage underwent a renovation that has expanded the one-of-a-kind space. The expansion allows for additional square footage to service more SEMA-member companies at any given time. But perhaps, most importantly, the renovation has made room for an improved emissions lab, which now tests for particulate matter. SEMA Garage Compliance Center Manager Peter Treydte discussed the benefits of the expansion.

  • The SEMA Garage underwent a renovation that has expanded the one-of-a-kind space. The expansion allows for additional square footage to service more SEMA-member companies at any given time. But perhaps, most importantly, the renovation has made room for an improved emissions lab, which now tests for particulate matter. SEMA Garage Compliance Center Manager Peter Treydte discussed the benefits of the expansion.

  • Each year, SEMA helps students from across the nation pay their way through college with awards from the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund. As this year’s application period comes to an end, we highlight last year’s scholarship winners.

  • The mission of the Young Executives Network (YEN) is to cultivate young talent in the automotive aftermarket industry by implementing educational seminars and networking events. YEN does this by taking advantage of the resources available through social-media networking as well as in-person networking at industry trade events.

  • The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) set out on a mission to inspire and encourage women in the automotive industry by creating a social-media campaign aimed at raising awareness of the critical roles women lead within SEMA-member companies. First launched at the 2016 SEMA Show, the “She Is…” program provides peer-to-peer recognition, which SBN in turn considers for its monthly member spotlights and the network’s annual awards.

  • One of the key goals of the Manufacturers Representatives Network (MRN) is to address industry issues and develop strategies and programs designed to meet the special needs of manufacturers’ reps. One issue that has directly affected MRN is the challenge manufacturers face when looking for quick and easy representation in a select region. To solve that issue, MRN launched RepMatch.

New Products

  • Advanced Clutch TechnologyBy far the most expansive section at the SEMA Show, Racing and Performance held steady in net square footage for 2017, again overflowing from the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center into the Racing Annex and Performance Pavilion. Hundreds of exhibitors gathered at the annual meeting place for the racing community to showcase products designed to add more power and performance, such as turbochargers, superchargers, exhaust systems, headers and many others.

Required Reading

  • More than 250 top vehicle customizers competed in the fourth annual SEMA Battle of the Builders contest—one of the industry’s most prestigious vehicle-build competitions—held during the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

SEMA Heritage

  • GarlitsThe happy guy standing on his dragster’s slick is Ed Garlits, younger brother of Don. You may have heard of Don. He’s the “Don” of Don’s Speed Shop that’s lettered on the dragster’s nose. He’s also known by many as “Big Daddy.”