Mike Imlay

SEMA Show Guide for Buyers

As the world’s premier automotive aftermarket trade event, the annual SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) offers industry buyers unparalleled value and opportunity.

“This year’s SEMA Show will have the most industry support that we’ve ever had in the event’s 49-year history,” said SEMA Show Director Tom Gattuso. “What that means to buyers is more new products, more innovation and more ways for them to improve their businesses in the coming year and beyond. In fact, what you do in four days in Las Vegas really can help you chart your business course for the next four years.”

Retail Spotlight: Bert’s Mega Mall

Bert's Mega MallLocated in Covina, California, Bert’s Mega Mall has a celebrated reputation as the nation’s largest powersports super store. Originally a bicycle retailer, it was bought in 1958 by Ed Seidner, who kept the Bert’s name because he couldn’t afford to change the signage and business cards at the time. Soon Seidner was adding motorcycles to his inventory, becoming one of California’s first Yamaha franchises.

The All-New SEMA Emissions Laboratory

SEMA GarageFor many automotive specialty-equipment manufacturers, emissions certification is an essential step in developing and bringing new performance or engine-related products to market. In fact, emissions compliance is a legal requirement. It is illegal under both California and federal law to sell products that could impact emissions. However, parts makers can comply with these laws by proving that their products do not increase emissions and have been certified through the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Executive Order (E.O.) process. While this can seem expensive and confusing, especially to small manufacturers and industry newcomers, the SEMA Garage’s cutting-edge Emissions Compliance Center is here to help make the process easy and affordable.

Show Vehicles

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.

Going Mainstream

3D Printing Going MainstreamIs there a 3D printer in your future? It’s really no longer a question of if, but when. That’s because now, after more than three decades, the technology known officially as “additive manufacturing” is finally maturing and mainstreaming—and transforming modern manufacturing in the process.

Product Development Made Easier

Mining OEM CAD Files Through SEMA’s Tech Transfer Program

Among SEMA’s many member services is its Tech Transfer program, designed to help product developers and manufacturers design and create quality components and items for vehicles from original-equipment manufacturer (OEM) data files. The program traces its roots back to 1999, when Ford first provided vehicle blueprints to SEMA to share with association members. Now housed in the new SEMA Garage—Industry Innovations Center, the Tech Transfer program has grown to encompass a wide-ranging digital catalog of CAD files from Ford, GM, Scion and Chrysler (including Fiat, Jeep and RAM). While simple in concept, accessing the program may at first appear a little daunting for first-timers. To help explain its ins and outs, SEMA News sat down for a Q&A with Gary Pis, SEMA vehicle data product manager, who coordinates the program.

Today’s Hot-Rod Market

Cars & Coffee–SEMA Edition will be open each morning of the 2013 SEMA Show from 8:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m.Legacy Stylings Meet New Technologies

The automotive aftermarket owes quite a bit to hot rodders. While, technically, the industry existed prior to the street scene of the ’50s, it was hot rodders who sparked the explosion of innovative performance and appearance products that now characterize the heart and soul of the automotive specialty-equipment market. They made tinkering with, modifying and personalizing cars cool, catapulting the industry into the $33-billion powerhouse it is today. And although the industry has since grown and broadened to encompass a dizzying array of products and trends in countless categories, hot rodding has hardly faded from the scene.

Designing Like the Big Guys

Three High-Tech Tools to Advance Small Product Innovators

For medium to large specialty-equipment manufacturers, the concepts of computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) are not likely to come as anything new. Over the past few decades, most companies with the capital have been investing in these evolving technologies to create and speed new products to market. What’s new on today’s scene is the trickle-down of increasingly cost-effective CAD/CAM solutions into the hands of smaller companies and even individual product designers and manufacturers—a phenomenon that may well make them ever more competitive with the big guys.

SEMA Battle of the Builders

Warm up your TV and mark your calendar for 8:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday, March 8. That’s the date and time set for the premiere airing of the one-hour SEMA Battle of the Builders program on the Velocity Network—an in-depth TV event promising to focus new consumer attention on the creativity, products and vehicle builds of the annual SEMA Show.

“We’re extremely excited about the upcoming debut airing of our very first SEMA Battle of the Builders competition,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “A lot of thought and hard work went into both the competition and the television production.

Rugged Ridge/SEMA Cares Jeep Auctions for $85,000

Charities and Student Builders Benefit From an Exciting SEMA Garage Project

The ’15 Omix-ADA Jeep Wrangler JK Sport featured at this past November’s SEMA Show has sold for $85,000 to benefit SEMA Cares charities. The sale came on the Barrett-Jackson auction block on Wednesday, January 16, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Known as the Rugged Ridge/SEMA Cares Jeep, the upfitted, dirt-ready vehicle was originally procured with funds from a 2013 Omix-ADA donation and contained a total of $30,000 in aftermarket parts and accessories from other donor companies, including Falken Tire, Super Chips, Rugged Ridge and Kicker. It was also clad in custom paint by Theresa Contreras from LGE-CTS Motorsports. Perhaps most notably, however, it was customized through a collaboration with the Alex Xydias Center (AXC) for Automotive Arts, in which a team of AXC students modified the standard four-door JK at the new SEMA Garage facility in Diamond Bar, California. All of the proceeds from the Jeep’s auction will go to benefit Childhelp America and Victory Junction.

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