This year’s SEMA Hall of Fame inductees are all very different people, with unique paths to success, but all three have certain qualities in common. They have inspired innovation, fostered collaboration and, most importantly, created opportunities for others. Though their careers have taken markedly different paths, each has demonstrated persistence, generosity and enthusiasm.
On July 26, I begin a two-year term as SEMA Chairman. I am focused on improving SEMA and helping our association provide solutions to help our members solve problems. There are many SEMA programs that benefit our member businesses, and most of them are explained regularly in our magazines and newsletters.
If the SEMA Show comprises the body of the automotive aftermarket, Hot Rod Alley might well be said to be its beating heart. For decades, the hot-rod and performance-street segments have led the aftermarket in leading-edge engine, drivetrain and suspension technologies. Given recent industry and technological trends, the hot-rodding market segment only figures to increase in popularity and sales in years to come.
SEMA provides its nearly 7,000 companies a plethora of benefits, including access to the SEMA Garage; industry-leading market research; education; world class trade shows; networking opportunities; a regulatory and advocacy program to fight for industry-friendly legislation in Washington, D.C.; international programs to reach potential overseas customers; and more. Whether you're a manufacturer, retailer, jobber, distributor, rep or installer, SEMA has something to offer everyone. For more information, visit www.sema.org/benefits.
What vehicle can be more American than a truck? Ever since Henry Ford introduced his first Model T in 1908, light trucks have been the vehicles of the masses, both at home and abroad. Powerful, sturdy, versatile and capable of almost anything, wherever they go, we work with them, play with them and return to them again and again when times are good. And right now, it seems, times are very good indeed.
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).
Among the several distinguished honors bestowed at the annual SEMA Show Industry Awards Banquet, the Person of the Year award stands as perhaps the most prestigious. More than their own personal or career achievements, individuals who have received the award were selected in recognition of their tremendous service and contributions to the industry in advancing the success of the entire marketplace. At the recent 2018 SEMA Show ceremonies held in Las Vegas on Thursday night, November 1, the association named Melanie White of Hellwig Products as its 2018 Person of the Year.
Stunning originality is the hallmark of the largest automotive trade show in the world, which comes to life for a few short days once a year in Las Vegas. Starting with empty halls and bare concrete floors, an estimated 5,000 workers build infrastructure to support thousands of exhibitors, in the process bringing in close to 10 million lbs. of freight. In empty parking lots, hundreds of workers swarm to erect structures.
SEMA is governed by a Board of Directors, with directors nominated and elected by the trade association’s membership at large. Directors serve three-year terms, while the chairman-elect automatically assumes the role of chairman after completing a two-year term. The 2018–2019 Board was recently empaneled at the annual SEMA Installation & Gala, held July 20, 2018, at the Hilton Los Angeles, Universal City, California.
What’s the best way to set up your aftermarket business for success in 2019? Experienced buyers will tell you that the answer is the 2018 SEMA Show, which will be held October 30 through November 2 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. As the world’s premier automotive aftermarket trade-only event, the annual SEMA Show is a smart investment that can make a significant difference to your company’s bottom line.