Aftermarket Business

China’s Growing Love Affair With Jeeps

A number of Jeep clubs have sprung up throughout China with their members enjoying off-roading trips lasting up to two or even three weeks and venturing as far away as Mongolia and Nepal, among other destinations. By Alysha Webb

China continues to be a very important market for Chrysler’s Jeep line. Last year it became the brand’s largest global market. Imported models have driven that growth, but Chrysler has been talking for years about producing Jeeps in China. It looks as though that will become a reality next year. Adding domestically produced models to the mix should boost both sales of Jeeps and opportunities for SEMA members.

Truck, SUV & Off-Road Gear

The Trucks, SUVs & Off-Road category continues to build momentum, presenting lucrative opportunities for the automotive aftermarket. At the 2013 SEMA Show, the Ford F-Series was named the Show’s Hottest Truck in the annual SEMA Awards, which honor vehicles most often featured by exhibitors in their booths. Once again, the Jeep Wrangler also reigned supreme as the Show’s Hottest 4x4-SUV.

With items ranging from tonneau covers and bedliners to toolboxes, trailer hitches and suspensions, the market covers a wide variety of products and accessories. The following pages feature new Truck, SUV & Off-Road applications that debuted at the 2013 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Along with the products, we’ve interviewed several industry executives for their perspectives on current trends, along with advice for selling into the category.

Win in Business While Supporting Your Industry

Jon WylyA smart person in the industry that I respect a lot recently told me: “I’ve drowned a lot of horses trying to make them drink.” This, of course, references the old adage, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Thinking about what he said, I found that, sadly, I could relate to his frustration through some of our experiences at the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC). In most cases, it boils down to prioritization.

There’s no question that product data management is critical to business today. Thankfully, a good many companies on the supplier (manufacturer) side are stepping up to meet their customer’s needs while growing their own sales opportunities.

Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’

Businesses still using Windows XP after April 8, 2014, will be courting peril, according to countless IT experts. All Microsoft support for the operating system ends on that day, leaving XP forever vulnerable to new security breaches.Businesses Still Using Windows XP After April 2014 Courting Peril

Businesses still using Windows XP after April 8, 2014, will be courting peril, according to countless IT experts. All Microsoft support for the operating system ends on that day, leaving XP forever vulnerable to new security breaches.

“The importance of upgrading from Windows XP cannot be overstated,” said Tim Rains, director of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing. “We truly want people to understand the risks of running Windows XP after support ends and to recognize the security benefits of upgrading to a more modern operating system.”

SEMA Indicators

At the 2013 SEMA Show, more than 60,000 buyers joined nearly 50,000 exhibit personnel as well as thousands of media and other visitors to bring total attendance to more than 140,000 industry professionals and their guests.   A Look at Areas of Interest for Specialty-Equipment Companies

For this story, we have drawn upon information from a variety of sources that, taken together, may suggest business trends. SEMA’s trade show data, new-vehicle sales, educational tendencies and other indicators are some of these often-overlooked sources. What follows is a look at some of the areas of interest that may show where business is headed in the near future.

A Look At The Racing and Performance Powertrain Market

A Ford 408 engine by Blueprint Engines. Just one of the broad varieties of crate engines available from the engine builder.By Mike Imlay

Racers, street performance enthusiasts, four wheelers, restorers and boat owners all need engines, which means that, at some point, they tap into the performance niche occupied by engine builders and, more often than not, the specialty shops that install replacement engines. It’s a segment composed of small businesses, not-so-small businesses and by OEM crate-engine distributors—all offering powertrain solutions.

In fact, use of ready-made drop-in crate engines with known horsepower and torque specifications has become a driving force in the marketplace in recent years. In particular, the GM LS series has become...

Fast Facts

Breaking news from SEMA members, including MultiCam Inc., Meyer Distributing and Vehicle Specialties Inc., Goodguys Gazette, Piston Driven Manufacturing and Performance Racing Industry (PRI), Innovative Creations and more.

Silicon Valley Versus Motor City: Race for the Future of the Car

John Waraniak, SEMA Vice President of Vehicle TechnologySEMA’s Vice President of Vehicle Technology on the State of Advanced Vehicle Technology and What’s to Come

The race to define future vehicles is on. Competition for the future of the auto industry is rapidly evolving between Silicon Valley and Detroit. While product is king, vehicle electronics and software rule. The recession accelerated the auto industry’s transformational changes, which are required for growth as well as the reinvention of vehicles—from mechanical to electrical systems, from stand-alone to connected, and from mass markets to personalization and customization. The changes we are going through today will impact the performance aftermarket industry for decades to come.

Experts Help You Navigate the Latest in Connected Vehicle Technology

SEMA’s Product Development Expo will highlight current methods of vehicle production and the tools and awareness needed to navigate the impact of connected vehicle technology on the specialty-automotive market. The Product Development Expo, fueled by the SEMA Garage, and sponsored by the SEMA Data Co-op and the Emerging Trends & Technology Network, will be held Thursday, April 10, at SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, California.

The expo will provide specialty-equipment companies with insight on how the methods for vehicle production have been transformed on the OEM level—specifically during the past 10 years— and require companies to adapt quickly to new and emerging technologies to stay competitive.

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