Brought to you by the SEMA Young Executives Network


SEMA  The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is a trade association that consists of a diverse group of manufacturers, distributors, retailers, publishing companies, auto restorers, streetrod builders, restylers, car clubs, race teams and more. Today, the 46 year ­old organization performs many services for its members and for the hobby as a whole. Perhaps most importantly, SEMA works hard to protect consumers™ rights to drive accessorized, customized and vintage vehicles. SEMA keeps close tabs on legislators in Washington, D.C., and also in each state within the United States, so SEMA members and anyone who loves cars and trucks can protest pending legislation that might harm our hobby, as well as endorse legislation that's good for car lovers. SEMA is the host to the annual SEMA Show which is held each year in Las Vegas as part of AAIW (See Below).


AAIW The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW) is a general term that is used when describing and/or advertising both shows, the SEMA Show and the AAPEX Show, which are both held during the same week in Las Vegas.

PWA The Performance Warehouse Association is an organization of specialty automotive parts distributors joined together to deal with management, financial and legislative matters.


Manufacturer Any company that goes to market with manufactured goods.

Factory The facility that a manufacturer uses to produce partial or finished goods.

Wholesale Distributor (WD)  A company that purchases goods directly from many different manufacturers and houses them in warehouse locations. The WD then distributes those goods to jobbers and retailers at wholesale prices based on need. This process is termed 3-­Step Distribution (See Below).

Restyler  An installer shop that purchases manufacturer goods at wholesale prices and then installs those products and sells to dealerships. Also referred to a dealer expeditor. Depending on where the Restyler purchases the products (Buying Direct or from a WD), this process is also termed 3-­Step Distribution or 2-Step Distribution (See Below). The Unique position of this segment is the focus on aftermarket accessories for appearance and customization applicable to, but not limited to, late model vehicles.

Jobber  An installer/retail shop that purchases manufacturer goods at wholesale prices and then sells those products to consumers at retail prices. Also often referred to as a Retailer. Depending on where the Jobber purchases the products (Buying Direct or from a WD), this process is either termed 3-Step Distribution or 2-­Step Distribution (See Below).

Retailer  Term used to refer to national auto parts chains, such as AutoZone, Advance Auto, O'Reilly, etc.

eTailer An internet only Retailer.

Company Principle  An owner or officer of a company that has decision making authority.

Buyer An employee of a company, be it a WD or Jobber, who is responsible for maintaining the inventory of a product for resale. This includes part information, pricing, inventory management, and purchasing. Sometimes refereed to as a Product Manager.

Product or Category Manager  Person responsible for reviewing and selecting products to add to a WD / Jobber / Retailer's product offerings. This position is often divided into categories, or market segments, such as Performance, Off Road, Truck & SUV, Tire & Wheel, etc. Product and category managers may be responsible for retail pricing, purchas­ing, catalog and website placement, and product data maintenance.

Manufacturer's Rep A sales person that works for a manufacturer. A Manufacturer's Rep can work directly for a Manufacturer or can be employed by a Manufacturer's Rep Agency who in turn works on behalf of the Manufacturer. Typically, most Manufacturer Reps are assigned to a specific region and would call/visit the Manufacturer's customers, WDs and Jobbers, that are located in his/her region. While making those calls/visits, the Manufacturer's Rep typically presents new products with the Company Principle and/or Buyer, reviews any new Manufacturer policy changes, aids in Manufacturer related marketing discussions, trains in-­house sales staff and countermen about products, and may handle any accounting and warranty issues (if needed).

Manufacturer's Rep Agency  A Manufacturer's Rep Agency is a company that employs multiple Manufacturer Reps to represent a portfolio of Manufacturer clients. Manufacturer's Rep Agencies typically only work in a specific region and will represent multiple Manufacturers in that region.


3-Step Distribution  This is a term for a distribution process. In 3-Step Distribution, (1) the Manufacturer sells to the WD, (2) the WD sells to the Jobber, (3) the Jobber then sells to the consumer.

2-Step Distribution This is a term for a distribution process. In 2-Step Distribution, (1) the Manufacturer sells straight to the Jobber, (2) the Jobber then sells to the consumer. For Jobbers, this is referred to as Buying Direct.

1-Step Distribution  This is a term for a distribution process. In 1-Step Distribution, (1) the Manufacturer sells direct to the consumer. For Manufacturers, this is referred to as Selling Direct. For Consumers, this is referred to as Buying Direct.

Buy-In Requirements  The minimum purchase amount required (in dollars) for a Manufacturer or WD to open a new account with a new customer.

Payment Terms  The terms for which a customer will be billed. For example: Net 30 DOI (payment due 30 days from the date of invoice), Net 30/60/90 DOI (1/3 of invoice amount due 30 days of DOI, 1/3 due 60 days of DOI, 1/3 due 90 days of DOI).

Co-­Op Program  A program in which manufacturers partner with their distributors for various marketing programs. Costs for these programs are usually split with the manufacturer and distributor, or are paid for out of funds accrued based on a percentage of distributor's purchases.

Buy Back or Lift  When a Manufacturer or WD needs to buy back previously sold inventory from a customer, or buy inventory that is in stock from another Manufacturer or WD, because that inventory could not be sold at the intended sale price in order to make room for faster moving inventory within the customers business.

Lead Time  How long it takes for an item to ship after an order has been received by the manufacturer.

Field Destroy The process of discarding or destroying defective merchandise by a retailer or distributor instead of returning it to the manufacturer. Typically an allowance is given to offset the cost of the goods destroyed.


MSRP  Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price.

Jobber Price  An industry standard price point used to determine wholesale prices. Jobber price is typically between MSRP and WD price.

WD Price Warehouse Distributor or Wholesale Dealer price. This is the price that WD's pay for products purchased directly from manufacturers.

Price Sheet  A list printed on paper, that lists part numbers, part descriptions, and pricing. There are typically different price sheets for the different levels of distribution.

Price File or Setup File An electronic file, usually in Excel or CSV format, that contains all of the information needed by a seller to load in a new part number, or change data on an existing part number. Typically this information is composed of some or all of the data in the PIES file.

MAP  The Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) for a product.

Unilateral Price  The minimum sales price for a product. Also called a Colgate Policy. A unilateral pricing policy allows a manufacturer to set a minimum retail price, and refuse to sell to someone who sells below the minimum price.


Jobber Trade Show  A regional show that typically hosted by a WD. The WD will schedule the date and time, schedule the manufacturing partners that they want to exhibit, and then bring in their best customers to meet the manufacturer reps.

Parts Look-Up  This phrase is used to refer to an online application that is used to look up vehicle parts based on year, make & model.

ACES  Stands for Aftermarket Catalog Enhanced Standard. Created by Auto Care Association, ACES is the North American Industry Standard for the management and exchange of automotive catalog applications data. With ACES, suppliers can publish automotive data with standardized vehicle attributes, parts classifications and qualifier statements. ACES also prescribe a machine-readable format (XML) for trading partners to use in exchanging vast amounts of catalog information electronically.

PIES  Stands for Product Information Exchange Standard, also known as price file and setup file. Created by Auto Care Association, PIES is the management and exchange of product attribute information in the vehicle aftermarket industry. Product attributes include part numbers, product descriptions, weights, dimensions, UPC codes, and pricing.


Ad Buy The process involved in researching, negotiating, and purchasing advertising space in a print, television, radio or online media outlet to promote your company's products or services. These can be handled in-house or by an agency, and often involve studying the media outlets reach (audience size), choosing an ad size or duration and selecting the number of ads to run over a given period of time.

Traditional Media This term usually describes print (magazines and newspapers), radio and television outlets. When working on marketing, public relations or advertising campaign, traditional media refers to anything outside the digital realm.

Social Media Refers to the use of web and mobile based technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue, allowing the creation and exchange of user-­generated content. In contrast with traditional media, which involves one-­way communication, social media encourages two-­way interaction. Social media includes everything from peer-­to-peer networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn), to video sharing services (YouTube, Vimeo) and photo sharing sites (Flickr, Picasa). Some social media applications are designed to promote content creation, distribution and interaction by blending all of the above (Twitter, Google+, Instagram). Finally, location based social media utilizes mobile devices and social media to promote brick-­and-­mortar companies, by encouraging consumers to check in at locations to earn points and discounts, write reviews, etc. (Foursquare, Yelp, Facebook Places).

PR  Public Relations. Using the news, enthusiast or trade press to carry positive stories about your company, products or services; cultivating a good relationship with local and national press representatives. In the new media era, PR can also include direct interaction with the consumer and brand management through social media channels.

POP Display Display that sits on a counter or shelf to show actual product or features and benefits.

CPM  Cost per impression per a thousand views. CPM is used to determine the cost to reach one thousand pairs of eyeballs in any media.

B to B (Business to Business)  The term "business-­to-­business" was originally coined to describe the electronic communications between businesses or enterprises in order to distinguish it from the communications between businesses and consumers ("business-­to-­consumer"). It eventually came to be used in marketing as well. Today it is widely used to describe all products and services used by enterprises. Many professional institutions and trade publications focus much more on B2C than B2B, although most sales and marketing personnel are in the B2B sector.

B to C (Business to Consumer) Business-­to-­consumer (B2C, sometimes also called Business-­to-­Customer) describes activities of businesses serving end consumers with products and/or services. While all retail sales are technically B to C, in most cases this phrase is used to describe companies that participate in online retail sales, either through marketing to the consumer or selling directly to the consumer. B to C can also be used as a marketing term to describe communication from a business to the potential customer through marketing, advertising and public relations.

Contingency Program  Program that a manufacturer puts together for racing sanctions. The race teams that mark the manufacturer's names of the decals they run on their vehicles when they register for a race will get either cash, product or a product credit if they place either 1st, 2nd or 3rd. Generally the amounts are different for each place and sometimes only cover 1st.

Product Sponsorship The exchange of parts from a manufacturer (often free or at a substantial discount) for either logo space, marketing content, endorsement or all three on a project vehicle or racecar. Examples of this include companies providing parts for a show car build in order to use the vehicle in their booth at shows, or a motorsports team using products and then displaying the sponsors logo on its car and driver. Many product sponsorships now involve social media interaction as well, where in exchange for parts support builders and teams provide sponsors with photos, videos, and news updates for company websites and social media outlets.