As a manufacturer, you invest a lot of time and money into bringing new products to market. There’s the concept for a great new hot-rod product itself followed by research and design time, prototypes, testing and, eventually, the manufacturing. Immediately following that process is the marketing side of the equation, where expenses can really add up. There are packaging costs, promotion and introduction, catalogs, literature and advertising dollars. By the time a new product ships, most companies have a substantial investment at stake and plan (or hope) for a return on the investment in the near future.
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Know Your Customers to Build Your Business
The 136-page 2012 SEMA Consumer Segmentation Report—available free of charge to SEMA members—provides insights and sales opportunities among six prominent categories of automotive specialty-equipment purchasers. Ranging from a core group of enthusiasts to the least-savvy consumers of aftermarket parts, these segments and the opportunities they present are fully explored in the report. The 136-page 2012 SEMA Consumer Segmentation Report—available free of charge to SEMA members—provides insights and sales opportunities among six prominent categories of automotive specialty-equipment purchasers. Ranging from a core group of enthusiasts to the least-savvy consumers of aftermarket parts, these segments and the opportunities they present are fully explored in the report.
Each year, SEMA encourages its members to submit nominations for the SEMA Hall of Fame. The SEMA Hall of Fame was established to honor outstanding persons in the automotive specialty-equipment industry whose creativity, dignity, integrity, industriousness and accomplishments on a national basis have enhanced the stature of and significantly contributed to the industry’s growth. In fact, a rule of thumb to qualify could be the following question: “If this person had never existed, how would SEMA and the industry be different?”
The SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN) Fellowship program helped to fund travel expenses to the 2012 SEMA Show for 10 member-company employees under the age of 40. The participants were asked to take part in a number of specific Show events—including the SEMA Awards Banquet, YEN Reception and SEI education seminars—focused on developing their business skills and expanding their professional networks. Nine of them provided a few words to SEMA Member News about their experiences.
The pits at an NHRA drag race today are as much a part of the show as they are a place for work. They’re a maze of 18-wheelers, easy-ups and souvenir booths, where hawking T-shirts and collecting autographs go hand in hand with rebuilding engines in a tense but well-orchestrated effort to make the next round.
Strong Growth and Fatter Pocketbooks Warrant a Closer Look at the Potential in Latin America’s Second-Largest Economy
Automotive specialty-equipment manufacturers might want to take a look at selling into Mexico, the second-largest export market for the United States. According to the International Monetary Fund, 85% of the world’s growth—and new customers—over the next five years are located outside the United States, and our neighbor to the South is an increasingly interesting market.
The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund, which is dedicated to fostering the next generation of automotive leaders and innovators, awards approximately 75 scholarships every year. These awards help prepare the industry’s next generation for today’s competitive market through financial assistance for students attending various universities, colleges and/or vocational schools in the United States. In fact, the fund has yielded more than $1.5 million in scholarships since 1984.
It may be early in the year, and many of you are just now dusting off your collector cars and hot rods in preparation for the cruising months ahead, but the fourth annual Collector Car Appreciation Day, July 12, 2013, will be here before we know it. Matt Agosta of Steele Rubber Products prepared the following column right after the holidays, but his message still rings true and gets us in the right frame of mind to celebrate our collective passion.
In 1993, a small group of the automotive specialty-equipment industry’s businesswomen transformed the SEMA Women’s League, a group catering to the wives of SEMA exhibitors, into the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN). They became a group focused on women’s success in the automotive aftermarket.
The 16th annual (ARMO) Products Showcase will be held Wednesday–Saturday, April 24–27, at Spring Carlisle in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.