Cover Story

Melanie White: SEMA Person of the Year

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.

SEMA Show 2018

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.

Meet the 2018–2019 SEMA Board of Directors

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.

Insider Tips for Show Buyers

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.

Top Must-See Features at the 2018 SEMA Show

As the industry moves rapidly toward the 2018 SEMA Show, the stage is set with an expansive selection of education and networking seminars, special events and interactive experiences for Show attendees to live out firsthand as they see the newest products the aftermarket has to offer. Year after year, the SEMA Show expands on its commitment to build a marketplace for the newest, most transformative technologies of the automotive aftermarket, all in one place in Las Vegas. As buyers, exhibitors and members of the media prepare for the 2018 SEMA Show, we offer this preview of just a few of the features to be found at there.

35 Under 35

Who’s up and coming in the automotive aftermarket? Which young business leaders of tomorrow are already making their marks today? How do they envision the future? What new ideas and innovations might we expect from them, and most importantly, what direction will they take our industry?

In the following pages, SEMA News is pleased to present 35 young trendsetters, all age 35 or younger, bringing exciting new concepts and fresh enthusiasm to every segment of the automotive specialty-equipment industry.

2018 SEMA Hall of Fame

Success looks different for everyone—and that is certainly true for this year’s SEMA Hall of Fame inductees. Donnie Eatherly, Ed Pink and Chris Thomson have distinct backgrounds, aptitudes and professional paths, but they have each built a flourishing career doing something that makes them happy.

 

Selling UTVs

Within the off-roading segment, side-by-sides (aka UTVs) have emerged as popular second vehicles for Jeep and truck enthusiasts. Beyond this crossover market, a growing number of newbie buyers are also opting for UTVs as their first forays into outdoor and powersports recreation, thanks to the economical price of admission. Nowadays, a reasonably capable stock UTV can be had for as little as $11,000, and manufacturers have become fiercely competitive in the race to offer consumers a bevy of tough, agile, trail-ready side-by-sides.

The New Rules of Hot Rodding

Among the most popular destinations at the SEMA Show, Hot Rod Alley is home to exhibitors who design and manufacture products intended to add reliability, performance and comfort to American classics. The hot-rod niche has seen significant growth in recent years, and it’s currently estimated to be a $1.26-billion industry, according to the Hot Rod Industry Alliance’s “2017 Biannual Report.” Gauging by the number of Hot Rod Alley exhibitors honored in the 2017 Global Media Awards, it’s also a category that’s gaining momentum worldwide.

2018 SEMA Membership Roster

SEMA offers its 6,900-plus member companies a variety of business tools and resources to help their businesses succeed and prosper. Whether you are a manufacturer, retailer, jobber, distributor, rep or installer, SEMA is here to help you make smarter business decisions; be more strategic and targeted with your promotions; save money through group purchases; and network with key businesses and leaders in the industry. For the latest details on association benefits and upcoming activities, visit www.sema.org/benefits.

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