Recognizing successful individuals and companies is an important aspect of SEMA’s role as it pursues its mission of helping the industry succeed and prosper. Along with helping to enhance the aftermarket community, awards provide a way of sharing best practices and achievements.
It’s been 10 years since the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) hosted the “SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women.” That project was a conspicuously successful all-female build that captured the attention of the industry and provided a spotlight for a great number of women working in the aftermarket. Now the current SBN team has conceived of another signature all-female build—this time one that has the potential to engage on an even wider basis and serve as a catalyst on a number of strategic fronts.
As most SEMA members have learned by now, SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting, who traditionally pens this column, announced his retirement on January 5. In his position over the last 20 years, Chris has helped guide the industry through numerous challenges, and his leadership will surely be missed. His retirement will bring changes, but at times like this, we are reminded that change is inevitable—it’s the only constant in life and business.
It may seem like yesterday to some of us, but next month will mark the 10th anniversary of the transaction that brought the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show and publications to the SEMA organization. Since then, PRI has expanded its mission to become the leading advocacy organization to help protect and grow racing for the future.
The 2021 SEMA Show clearly indicated that a large portion of our industry values an event that provides face-to-face contact, innovative new products, networking, and the opportunity to renew its love affair with the automobile. Congratulations are due all around, and especially to those who worked through obstacles and overcame uncertainties in order to make the 2021 Show their priority.
It’s exciting to see the progress industry investments in business technology have yielded in the last decade. For example, we’ve seen additive manufacturing and computer-aided design dramatically reducing product development iterations, speeding up time to market and saving time and money.
It has been two long years since the industry last gathered in Las Vegas for our annual trade event, so for everyone who has waited in anticipation, welcome to the 2021 SEMA Show!
The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) was founded to represent a community of companies that serve the needs and passions of automotive enthusiasts around the world. There are a few different categories of SEMA membership—manufacturers, distributors/retailers, and a variety of service providers—but with few exceptions, only companies have ever been allowed to join SEMA.
Having weathered more than a year of global pandemic and with the 2021 SEMA Show now clearly on the horizon, I want to draw your attention to recent SEMA research that yields some clarity on how the industry has managed during the pandemic and what we can expect moving forward.
Ours is an industry built on imagination, fresh ideas and entrepreneurship, qualities that offer exciting opportunities. While the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas remains an obvious beacon for industry entrepreneurial activity, awareness of the scale and scope of innovation in the specialty automotive sector—and the opportunities it affords—has mostly been limited to the inner circle of our business community.