Automotive News

Membership Benefits: What You Don’t Know Can Cost You!

Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO If you’re reading this, you’re holding the annual SEMA Membership Directory issue. With more listings, this directory is one of our largest ever, as your association continues a healthy trend in membership growth.

While we now make membership listings available online as well, we think the printed edition is well worth the effort, since SEMA members consistently mention the directory as a primary benefit to their business. Now that you know about it, you can take advantage of this industry sourcebook to connect with other leading companies all year long. But what other valuable SEMA benefits are you missing simply because you don’t know about them? Are you overpaying for shipping, insurance or credit-card processing fees?

Candidates Announced for SEMA Board Election

Voting for the 2013–2016 SEMA Board of Directors Election will be open and available online between May 15 and June 11. Voting is open to current SEMA members, and votes must be submitted by the designated primary contact of each voting SEMA-member company.The candidates for the 2013–2016 SEMA Board of Directors have been announced. The members of SEMA’s Board volunteer their time to provide industry insight and a business-level perspective that contributes to the direction of the association. That strategic direction plays a critical role in shaping the future of the automotive specialty-equipment industry.

Voting for the 2013–2016 SEMA Board of Directors Election will be open and available online between May 15 and June 11. Voting is open to current SEMA members, and votes must be submitted by the designated primary contact of each voting SEMA-member company.

Chevy’s Little Giant

It’s December 1967, and the men about to fire that Chevy small-block on the engine dyno are Jim Travers and Frank Coon, founders of Traco Engineering. Commanding their attention is a Trans-Am race engine—possibly destined for one of Roger Penske’s Sunoco Z/28 Camaros—and Car Craft magazine’s Bob Swaim is chronicling “Traco’s magic touch” to see how the legendary engine builders squeeze more than 400 hp from “a basically stock 301ci engine with the Z/28 options.” Swaim’s story, “Chevy’s Little ‘301’ Giant,” appeared in the magazine’s March 1968 issue.

Traco (a contraction of Travers’ and Coon’s last names) was founded in 1957 after the pair served as mechanics for Bill Vukovich during his Indy 500 wins in 1953 and 1954.

Making Headway Overseas

As might be expected, OMIX-ADA’s international sales are best where the Jeep brand has a strong presence. “China is a very important destination for our products,” said Nathan Calabrese (far right), director of international sales, regarding his OMIX-ADA meeting with buyers at the 2012 SEMA China Business Development Show.SEMA members create products for vehicles that are sold globally, and a growing number are looking to overseas markets for new business opportunities. OMIX-ADA, headquartered in Suwanee, Georgia, has more than 15,000 Jeep parts and accessories in stock and has been selling them globally for years, but the company expanded its international business department a few years. Now, OMIX-ADA’s international business is growing faster.

For this second in a periodic series of articles about SEMA members that are making headway in growing their overseas business, Nathan Calabrese, OMIX-ADA’s director of international sales, provided insights into how the company identifies markets to target, what company executives look for in a distributor, and offers some tips on how to get started selling internationally.

Industry Veteran Mike Spagnola to Lead SEMA Product Development Center

SEMA has hired industry veteran Mike Spagnola to fill the newly created position of vice president of OEM and product development programs, effective immediatelySEMA has hired industry veteran Mike Spagnola to fill the newly created position of vice president of OEM and product development programs, effective immediately. Spagnola brings with him 40 years of specialty auto parts experience, including more than 20 years of product development and project-vehicle work. With a focus on heightening SEMA services to help members develop products quickly and efficiently, Spagnola will collaborate with the SEMA OEM and vehicle technology departments while serving as a resource and liaison for members and automakers.

“We’re excited to have Mike join SEMA in developing services that help members with product development and OEM initiatives,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “SEMA’s vehicle technology and OEM programs, led by John Waraniak and Bill Wolf, have proven to be extremely beneficial over the years. Mike will work with our existing team to enhance and add to the services SEMA makes available to our members.”

Are Young Enthusiasts Vanishing?

About this product:

(And What Can We Do About It?)

The SEMA Education Institute (SEI) recently delved into this topic through an in-depth panel discussion at the 2012 SEMA Show. The presenters included Mickey Andrade, marketing manager of HRE Wheels; James Lawrence, CEO of Power Automedia; Jim Liaw, co-founder and president of the Formula D Drifting Championship; and Evan Smith, editor of Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords magazine. Highly experienced in the youth market, the four painted a picture of a young demographic displaying tremendous shifts in interests and buying habits. According to the panelists, these changes offer both challenges and new opportunities for the automotive specialty-equipment market.

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Case Study: Globalizing Sales

One Company’s Methods May Be a Model for Others

SEMA members are increasingly finding overseas markets and growing their exports, at least in part by taking advantage of resources and opportunities made available through SEMA. Royal Purple is one such company. Last year, international sales of its consumer products grew from almost nothing to around $60,000. Now it is setting its sights much higher.

Your Strategy for 2013

Search-Engine Optimization

The single most critical factor to search-engine optimization (SEO) success is creating amazing content—‘share-worthy’ content that is so useful, meaningful and interesting to your target audience that they want to consume it, share it with their own audiences and talk about it,” said Susan Gunelius, author of Content Marketing for Dummies.

The SEMA Data Co-op Is Up and Running… Now What?

Well, now the real fun begins! The SEMA Data Co-op’s (SDC) state-of-the-art data-management system has been up and running for a couple of months. The usual bugs have been shaken out, and we are actively receiving and distributing quality product data from nearly 200 suppliers to a horde of anxious receivers. Sure, we’re still adding new functionality and fine tuning things such as the user interface, documentation and reporting features, but it’s smooth sailing overall.

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