Aftermarket Business

New Car-Care and Restyling Products

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From modifying a vehicle’s original-equipment appearance with products such as new grilles or complete body kits to buffing oxidized paint on a classic muscle machine, car-care and restyling products can dramatically change a car’s look or add features unavailable from the OEM. Hundreds of items aimed at doing just that were introduced in the New Products Showcase during the 2011 SEMA Show, and we’ve gathered them here to give you a quick look at the innovations and trends that are bringing sparkle to the marketplace.

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10 Ways to Use Pinterest to Market Your Company

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Web marketers looking to get the most from social media can no longer ignore Pinterest (www.pinterest.com). This social network devoted to the posting of photo and image collections has quietly become the number-three social network in the world. Indeed, according to figures released by Experian Hitwise in early April, Pinterest brought in 104 million visits in March, lagging behind only Twitter, which drew 182 million visits, and goliath Facebook, which attracted 7 billion visits.

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Exhibitor Essentials

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Key Services and Suppliers for a Successful Trade-Show Booth

With the 2012 SEMA Show mere months away, smart exhibitors are already contemplating their booth spaces. They know that a booth’s branding, contents and arrangement all contribute massively to their ability to attract buyers, acquire new leads and have a successful Show. However, first-time exhibitors (and maybe a few returnees, as well) may be scratching their heads over booth essentials—the fixtures and services that can make or break their return on investment.

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Jon Wyly to Head SEMA Data Co-op

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Jon Wyly was named chief executive officer of the newly formed SEMA Data Cooperative (SDC) in March of 2012. His career in the specialty parts marketplace spans 30 years and has included key roles in sales, marketing, e-commerce, business technology and data management. A lifelong automotive enthusiast, he is well known in the industry, having worked for 25 years at Arrow Speed Warehouse and, more recently, at Keystone Automotive.

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Carroll Shelby: Synonymous With Performance

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Carroll Shelby, who passed away in May at the age of 89, was a true icon in the automotive world—someone whose name was literally synonymous with performance. Ask anyone to list their 10 favorite cars of all time, and chances are good that at least one will carry Shelby’s name or have been influenced by the flight instructor turned chicken farmer turned sports car racer turned car builder turned entrepreneur turned philanthropist.

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Hot Rod Products and Trends

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Since the earliest performance parts began to emerge from the dust on dry-lakes proving grounds in Southern California following World War II, hot rods have been a mainstay of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. They spark the imaginations of builders in every car and truck niche, and they continue to enthrall the motoring public at show venues and on roads across the country.

The product listings on the following pages run the gamut from powertrain and drivetrain hard parts to interior and exterior accessories, but their common bond is that they were all featured in the hot rod category of the New Products Showcase at the 2011 SEMA Show. We’ve also interspersed observations about current trends from officers at leading companies involved in the hot rod industry, as well as from young executives who are closely connected to their enthusiast segments.

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Marketing 101: Winning Project-Vehicle Builds

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Every year, more than 1,500 vehicles are displayed at the SEMA Show. Many of them are customized in the months leading up to the Show, and each represents a collaboration between manufacturers that provide parts and support and the owner/design team that brings the vehicle to the Show.

The question is, what goes into a successful project build, and how is it possible to generate a tangible payoff for each participant?

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Precision Tools

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There are basics to manufacturing that change little over time. To create marketable parts, manufacturers must mold, mill, drill, cut, weld and otherwise fabricate raw materials into something consumers find useful. The tools used to do these things are another matter altogether. It’s no secret that machine technologies are changing rapidly.

SEMA News recently decided to explore some of the incredible capital equipment that’s become standard in the modern small to medium manufacturing facility. In some cases, we discovered tools that truly fit the word “revolutionary.” In others, we found new twists on old tooling standbys—twists that make them more efficient or cost effective. The following is a quick survey of a few of our favorites for measuring, cutting and fabricating.

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Mobile Electronics Products

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From tire-pressure monitoring and powertrains to navigation and smartphone integration, nearly every facet of today’s automobile is controlled, managed or affected by some type of mobile electronics. As the field has expanded, an increasing number of products are introduced each year in the SEMA Show’s New Products Showcase, and an ever-growing throng of buyers seeks information about the most innovative systems and components.

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Making the Most of Facebook’s Design Change

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While Facebook’s new look has left many businesses in a scramble, migrating to the new, mandatory change need not be accompanied by gnashing of teeth. Armed with insights from web marketing experts, companies will be able to cruise through the upgrade—and perhaps dust a competitor or two—unfazed.

In the most fundamental terms, the Great Facebook Migration of 2012 represents a move by the digital hangout to standardize the look and feel of every Business Page on its network. Essentially, Facebook wants every business on its site to be able to express what’s happening with its brand right now—as well as the heritage behind that brand—all on a single page.

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