SEMA News

Cover Story

The 2018 SEMA Battle of the Builders competition began with more than 300 vehicles entered by builders and customizers from all across the United States. The entries included vehicles crafted by both well-known, highly acclaimed builders and lesser-known younger customizers. The 2018 format was updated to provide a mechanism to recognize winners in four different categories: Hot Rod, Truck/Off-Road, Sport Compact and Young Guns (under 27).

Business

  • Muscle Car ReportFor a while, it seemed that American muscle had seen its heyday. By the ‘80s its so-called glory years had faded, displaced by growing consumer demand for compact fuel-sippers and practical sedans. But with recent advancements in turbocharging and other mileage-enhancing technologies, modern muscle is now ironically turning the tables on the traditional passenger car.

Chris Kersting

  • Chris Kersting

    Look back at early issues of SEMA News and its predecessors, and it’s easy to see that our industry has perpetually been concerned about awakening and inspiring a next generation of car and truck enthusiasts. The ability to capture the youth market is a focus for many industries simply because future success often depends on it. Because young people are open to new ideas and are still developing preferences and identities, the youth demographic offers the possibility of lengthy attachment to a brand, a product or a lifestyle. In addition, young people have significant collective buying power, are often trendsetters, and they influence other demographic groups.

Events

  • '19 RAMAs the domestic auto makers shift away from sedans and coupes, trucks and SUVs dominated the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) held in the heart of Detroit. With less emphasis on autonomous vehicles at this year’s show, many of the manufacturers focused on trucks and SUVs that are powerful, highly capable and technically advanced. Many of them will make great raw material for aftermarket parts manufacturers.

  • The 2018 SEMA Battle of the Builders competition began with more than 300 vehicles entered by builders and customizers from all across the United States. The entries included vehicles crafted by both well-known, highly acclaimed builders and lesser-known younger customizers. The 2018 format was updated to provide a mechanism to recognize winners in four different categories: Hot Rod, Truck/Off-Road, Sport Compact and Young Guns (under 27).

From The Hill

  • Markwayne MullinMany politicians grow up dreaming of the day they will run for office. Their young adult lives are a series of tactical steps designed to build a narrative they can use as a springboard to get elected. U.S. Representative Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) took a different path, growing a family business while competing in action-packed pursuits ranging from rock crawling to mixed martial arts. It’s no coincidence that he’s one of the most genuine and effective members of Congress, using his platform to make government a bit friendlier to small businesses and automotive enthusiasts.

  • TariffsEvery business depends on predictable supply costs. When it comes to that basic entrepreneurial principle, 2018 was not a good year. The Trump administration imposed a series of tariffs with little warning. Those measures were intended to address unfair trade practices and encourage foreign nations to renegotiate trade pacts to remove or equalize duty rates. Unfortunately, it hasn’t exactly worked out that way. Make no mistake, SEMA supports equitable trade but questions the methods being employed to bring other countries to the bargaining table. The results to date have been modest when compared to the upheaval being caused in the marketplace.

Government Affairs

  • Law & OrderOutgoing Michigan Governor Rick Snyder vetoed a bill that would have allowed for the registration of a “military surplus vehicle” as an “historic vehicle.” “Historic vehicle” means a vehicle that is more than 25 years old, owned solely as a collector’s item and for participation in club activities, exhibitions, tours, parades and similar uses, including mechanical testing, but not used for general transportation. Use of the vehicle during the month of August in each year is considered an exhibition. In announcing his decision to veto the legislation, Governor Snyder explained that military surplus vehicles were not manufactured for on-road use and should be restricted to off-road purposes.

Industry News

  • For the past several years, the SEMA Garage has successfully provided SEMA members with a wide range of rapid-prototype (3-D printed) materials, ranging from standard ABS plastic to high-performance ULTEM 9085.

  • Ford Explorer ST: The Explorer will get its first comprehensive redesign in nearly a decade, likely for the ’20 model year.

    Porsche 911 Cabriolet: Visual upgrades are rather mild, with the 992 exterior being heavily based on the outgoing model.

    Land Rover Defender: The prototype shows a wealth of design cues from the Defender, as well as a few from the Discovery and Range Rover families.

  • Industry news from SEMA-member companies, including Hunter Engineering, Nexen Tire, Cooper Standard and more.

International

  • InternationalHome to the Baja 500 and a Grand Prix, Mexico is a country of nearly 130 million people, and it is an increasingly important destination for U.S. automotive specialty-equipment products. With a growing middle class (approximately 39% of the population has enough disposable income to own a vehicle, a computer and other “wants”), Mexican car enthusiasts are eager for U.S. products to enhance their off-road, motorsports and classic-car restoration experiences.

Internet

  • GroupmailBusinesses dismayed by the monthly (and often continuously rising) costs of online email marketing providers have a cost-effective solution: Pay once for email marketing software that can run in-house and forget all the other costs.

New Products

  • Street KingThe Racing & Performance section of the SEMA Show encompasses carburetors, filters, exhaust systems and many other parts designed to add performance in motorsports applications and beyond. It’s the largest section of the annual trade show, with more than 500 companies exhibiting their offerings for the segment. Within the 2018 New Products Showcase, entries that piqued the most buyer interest were Chevy’s LT5 crate engine, Digipower’s DPW Cutout exhaust system and Comp Performance Group’s FAST LSXHR 103mm intake manifold.

Required Reading

  • Chevy HardcoreThousands of journalists attend the SEMA Show each year to report on new automotive products and trends. While exhibitors promote their new products at the SEMA Show, media coverage helps reach audiences all over the world. A simple Google search will yield thousands of SEMA Show media clips, but here are a few examples.

Retail Store Review

  • Retail SpotlightWhen the story of Ingenuity Fab & Speed (IFS) began five years ago, Joshua Boucher was building chassis for a local shop. Like many, he was creating custom designs and fabricating parts for each job, pouring his creativity into them. His parents, aftermarket veterans, convinced him that he was giving his genius away. He realized that he had everything he needed to take ownership of his abilities and work for himself, so he incorporated IFS as an LLC in Montgomery, Texas, and hired his parents soon thereafter.

SEMA Heritage

  • HeritageThe December 2018 RM Sotheby’s auction at the Petersen Automotive Museum made headlines for the $22 million paid for a ’56 Ferrari 290 MM—a race car with provenance that included such notable pilots as Juan Manual Fangio, Phil Hill and Stirling Moss. Parked just a few feet away from that historic prancing horse during the auction’s preview was another ’50s icon: a ’32 Ford known as the Lloyd Bakan coupe.