Exhibits at the annual SEMA Show can offer some useful indications of what is trending in the automotive aftermarket in a given year. For those who weren’t able to attend and see for themselves, media coverage following the Show often points to some hot items as well. In surveying these sources and conversing with exhibitors, SEMA News observed a few trends worth mentioning for 2017. The following is a brief look at what the editorial team discovered.
SEMA’s Vice President of Vehicle Technology John Waraniak teamed up with Brett Smith, assistant director of manufacturing, engineering and technology at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), along with his colleagues in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to share their frontline insights and perspectives with SEMA News on advanced vehicle technologies. They reviewed what SEMA members need to know about how those technologies are impacting the continued growth and future of the automotive performance and specialty-equipment industry.
Google is cracking down on mobile websites that intentionally degrade the web-browsing experience for the rest of us. Beginning in January 2017, the search-engine giant announced plans to push mobile websites down in its search-engine returns if they deliberately harass visitors with bothersome pop-up ads.
When racing and the motorsports parts industry came under attack in 2016, SEMA members and race enthusiasts stood up and sent a clear message to Washington, D.C.: Don’t mess with our jobs and our passion! Racers, fans and the industry rallied around grassroots efforts to stop the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from prohibiting emissions modifications to motor vehicles being converted for racing and to pass legislation clarifying in federal law that this time-honored tradition is legal.
In what has become an annual tradition, Omix-ADA recently unveiled a project Jeep built in support of SEMA Cares, the association’s program benefitting children’s charities. The debut took place at the recent 50th anniversary SEMA Show in Las Vegas. After its unveiling at SEMA Central, the vehicle served as a dramatic conversation piece, raising vital awareness for SEMA Cares charitable efforts within the automotive aftermarket.
The SEMA Battle of the Builders (BOTB) has become one of the top competitions in the custom-car builder community, with more high-quality entries than ever. Interest in this year’s edition was at an all-time high, with more than 250 vehicles entered from all market segments, including trucks, hot rods, street rods, off-road, motorsports, sport compacts, luxury exotics and more. New this year was the Young Guns distinction for builders who were 34 years old and under. The competition was open to any builder with a display, feature or booth vehicle at the SEMA Show.
Although cyber threats on Fortune 500 companies make headlines, victims come in all shapes and sizes. Ponemon Institute, a Michigan-based research center dedicated to research on privacy, data protection and information security, found that 51% of surveyed CEOs reported experiencing a data breach not just daily but hourly.
The Bonneville Salt Flats is a unique land formation in northwestern Utah that beckons visitors from around the world. For racers, its surface is unequaled. The hard salt crust is perfect for both speed and safety. But there is a problem. The once 13-mile racetrack is now less than eight miles long due to salt erosion.
The core mission of SEMA is to help its members succeed and prosper, and a spirit of volunteerism permeates that mission. To grow the automotive specialty-equipment industry and address the broad range of issues facing association members, SEMA continues to rely on the vision and leadership of dedicated individuals from every industry segment who give freely of their time and energy for the benefit of all. In that spirit each year, SEMA bestows its highest honor—the Person of the Year Award—on an individual who embodies the association’s mission. For 2016, that person is Tim Martin of K&N Engineering.
There’s a reason why the tire and wheel section remains one of the largest display areas of the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas. For consumers, tires and wheels continue to be one of the first, best and most basic ways to personalize a passenger car or light truck. Whether enhancing looks and stance from the get-go or breathing new life into a well-traveled vehicle, consumers love their wheel-and-tire packages. And through a variety of performance and style options aimed at every taste, the specialty-equipment industry stands readier than ever to fulfill their custom desires.