SEMA News

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Cover Section

  • At first glance, the 2015 SEMA Hall of Fame inductees may appear to have only one thing in common: farms. But upon closer inspection, you will notice something else. They are the epitome of “live your best life.” This is not always easy to do; there is no roadmap to that destination, yet the route defines who we are. And each Hall of Fame honoree embraced the crossroads as much as he chased the unknown. He exuded grace in hardships and saw chance in challenges. He believed in himself and in those around him when others may have disbelieved. What some called struggle, he called purpose. Their footprints leave invisible impressions on our own road map, reminding us of how to be on the way to where to be.

Business Technology

  • Maybe all this hype about product data is just that—overblown excitement from a few nerdy technologists who are trying to tell us that more and more people will be demanding digitized information to power their so-called “electronic catalogs.” Heck, what’s wrong with paper catalogs anyway? Or the idea that the Internet is going to continue to grow and grow and might even eventually be a big part of consumer purchasing habits? Inconceivable! Statements like these sure make you wonder where some of these crazy ideas come from, don’t they?

Chris Kersting

  • Chris KerstingThe efforts and outcomes secured by SEMA’s government affairs office in Washington, D.C., are among the association’s most highly rated benefits, according to our annual member satisfaction survey. While the D.C. team is a key factor, success is a function of each of you taking part and putting your strength into the effort—helping us make a deep impact on the policy discussions and decisions that are critical to the future of our industry.

Events

  • Show Vehicles SEMA NewsWhile trade events and large automotive gatherings such as the upcoming SEMA Show in November offer manufacturers unparalleled opportunities to introduce products to hungry buyers, they also present a challenge. How does a company break out and get noticed amid a sea of competitors and busy floor activity? For many companies, the answer is a show or project vehicle—which can not only grab attention at the Show but continue holding it long after if done right.

From The Hill

  • From the HillWhile it’s too soon to tell who the next commander in chief will be, the field of contenders has begun to take shape. The candidates feature some very familiar names as well as some newcomers who have already made their marks. Who will emerge the victor? Let’s examine the players.

Government Affairs

  • Ramping Up for Off-RoadersSEMA has sought to protect motorized recreation on public lands for decades—with good reason. SEMA’s mission is to protect enthusiasts from unreasonable government actions that threaten their rides, whether on the highway or backcountry trails. It’s also harder to market off-road products when there are fewer places to enjoy them.

  • Specialty Auto Parts RegulationSEMA members manufacture, distribute and retail parts and accessories for use on passenger cars, trucks, recreational and special-interest collector vehicles of all kinds. These products include performance, functional, restoration and styling-enhancement equipment of various designs and performance specifications. However, many of these parts are required to meet a variety of state and federal laws and regulations. Complying with these requirements is no easy task, but it can be made easier with a simple understanding of which parts are regulated, who regulates them and how manufacturers can innovate new products for automobiles within the bounds of the law. The following summarizes regulatory oversight basics.

  • Driving Force CoverThe fight against unfair automotive laws has been spearheaded by the SEMA Action Network (SAN) for nearly two decades. Citizen advocates—individuals from the industry and hobby alike—help shape the course of automotive-related proposals before they become law. While keeping its membership posted on legislative trends throughout the United States and Canada, the SAN offers easy-to-follow guidance on influencing bills in one’s jurisdiction. Urgent in nature, the SAN’s Legislative Action Alert e-mail messages immediately call constituents to speak out in a unified way about legislation making its way through the legislatures. This potent tool has a proven record of successfully swaying lawmakers on high-impact issues.

  • Law and Order is an update of some of the most recent federal and state legislative and regulatory issues that could potentially impact the automotive specialty-equipment industry. These include issues affecting small-business owners and their employees.

  • State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership CaucusIn its daily efforts to promote and protect the auto hobby, SEMA continues to partner with state lawmakers from across the country through the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus. Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the caucus is a bipartisan group of state lawmakers whose common thread is a love and appreciation for automobiles.

  • Brakes on FakesFor SEMA-member companies putting out great products these days, the challenge of illegal unauthorized copies is almost unavoidable. While some companies turn to the courts, federal agencies and law enforcement to confront counterfeiters, these avenues are frequently too expensive, ineffective or both. With the pervasive culture of counterfeiting in today’s global marketplace, SEMA members may be best served by also pursuing creative solutions that focus on branding, consumer awareness and unique packaging.

  • Industry Advocates SEMA NewsMark your calendars! With Congress in full swing, it’s not too early to make plans to attend the 2016 Washington Rally (May 10–12). The May gathering will mark the 11th time SEMA members have assembled in our nation’s capital to advocate on behalf of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. A biennial tradition, the Washington Rally has raised SEMA’s profile within the halls of Congress and is an integral part of the association’s advocacy efforts.

Industry News

  • Porsche 911

    The Porsche 911 shows off its new facelift featuring a newly designed front bumper and updated daytime running lights.

    Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra HD Diesels

    GM is reportedly bumping the current 6.6L Duramax turbo diesel’s horsepower, torque and towing capacity to counter Ford’s recently upgraded 6.7L Powerstroke V8 turbo diesel.

    ’17 Jeep Patriot Mule

    The ’17 Jeep Patriot uses a stretched version of the FCA-derived “small” platform that currently underpins the new Jeep Renegade.

    Ford SVT Truck

    Speculation is that that Ford’s testing a new-generation follow-up to its SVT Lightning.

  • Industry news from SEMA-member companies, including Superlift, PRW Industries Inc., The Right Stuff Detailing, The Marx Group, Hella Inc. and more.

  • SEMA Show New Products ShowcaseThe SEMA Show New Products Showcase—one of the most sought-after attractions at the annual event—will be located on the bridge between the Central and South Halls at the west end of the Las Vegas Convention Center during the 2015 SEMA Show.

International

New Products

  • Tools & Equipment

    In an industry like the specialty-equipment market, which thrives on originality, innovation is as much about how the job is accomplished as it is the finished product. Whatever your niche of choice, you don’t reach the end goal without the right gear. In the following pages, you’ll find new tools and equipment as featured at the 2014 SEMA Show. Take a look and imagine how these instruments could revolutionize your process, making the task at hand more efficient and enjoyable.

  • Restoration MarketplaceOn the following pages, we’ve assembled a listing of the restoration parts that were featured in the New Products Showcase at the 2014 SEMA Show, but “restoration” is now as much about rejuvenating a vehicle using modern underpinnings as it is about numbers-matching purity. In fact, many of the industry leaders quoted in the commentaries included within this buyer’s guide cite “restomod” vehicles as the segment’s most significant. They also note that trucks have become a major force in the restoration category, and the limits of what qualifies for “classic” status are also being stretched.

Peoples And Places

  • At first glance, the 2015 SEMA Hall of Fame inductees may appear to have only one thing in common: farms. But upon closer inspection, you will notice something else. They are the epitome of “live your best life.” This is not always easy to do; there is no roadmap to that destination, yet the route defines who we are. And each Hall of Fame honoree embraced the crossroads as much as he chased the unknown. He exuded grace in hardships and saw chance in challenges. He believed in himself and in those around him when others may have disbelieved. What some called struggle, he called purpose. Their footprints leave invisible impressions on our own road map, reminding us of how to be on the way to where to be.

Required Reading

  • Readers know that this is an industry of passion, so the media is quick to share the news and spread the word when legislation comes up that affects the industry. This is a good thing for readers, since legislation can change quickly, and staying up to date on the current status is important.

Retail Store Review

  • Custom Trucks Unlimited Retail Store ReviewLike so many small-business owners involved in automotive retail companies, David and Kevin Walker were enthusiasts early on. They loved anything with an engine, and they helped pay their way through college by working at a truck accessories store. That experience gave them a foundation in auto-parts retailing, so it was natural that they should start a store of their own when the chance presented itself. David was 21 and Kevin 20 in 2006 when they opened the doors to Custom Trucks Unlimited (CTU) in Auburn, Alabama.

SEMA Heritage

  • SEMA Heritage Racing RoadstersIn the days of hot rodding’s infancy, there were a lot of ways—and places—to go fast if you lived in Southern California. Top-speed runs at the desert dry lakes had been going on since before World War II; drag racing was beginning to boom for those whose speed needs could be contained in a quarter-mile; and oval tracks flourished throughout the area, drawing everything from rough-and-tumble jalopies to nitro-fed midgets.