SEMA research indicates that the U.S. aftermarket for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and connected vehicle technologies (CVT) can be expected to grow into a $1.5 billion industry within the next five years, even though the emerging segment is still in its infancy. The impact of these new systems can’t be overstated. Hard as it may be to imagine, they will eventually affect virtually everything from wheel and tire modifications and vehicle electronics tweaks to the addition of custom bumpers, running boards, grilles and other hard parts.
While identifying multiple growth opportunities for the specialty-equipment industry, the recently released “SEMA Advanced Vehicle Technology Opportunities Report” (p. 118) also raises questions of innovation, preparedness and best practices. To dig deeper into the fundamentals, SEMA News turned to SEMA Vice President of Vehicle Technology John Waraniak.
According to the findings of a recent survey of U.S.-based SEMA-member manufacturers, SEMA-member companies are exporting in greater numbers than ever before and are optimistic that those sales will continue to climb in the next three years.
By far the most expansive section at the SEMA Show, Racing and Performance held steady in net square footage for 2017, again overflowing from the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center into the Racing Annex and Performance Pavilion. Hundreds of exhibitors gathered at the annual meeting place for the racing community to showcase products designed to add more power and performance, such as turbochargers, superchargers, exhaust systems, headers and many others.
In a move to stop the online ad market from imploding, Google will roll out its own ad blocker in early 2018, designed to neutralize annoying, intrusive advertising on the web. The new Google strategy will significantly impact any business that advertises on an internet website. In a phrase: Unless you play nice with your web advertising, Google is going to shut you down in 2018.
Despite sporadic gas prices across the country, Americans’ love affair with their trucks is stronger than ever, and so is brand loyalty among consumers. The light-duty truck market is heating up as Chevrolet, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) revealed new models from their clandestine design and engineering arsenals at Detroit’s 2018 North American International Auto Show. That event in the Motor City is basically in the backyard of the domestic OEMs. GM, Ford and FCA may feel that they have home-court advantage, but it’s anyone’s game in this ongoing battle for pickup supremacy.
For many in the custom-car industry, the SEMA Battle of the Builders is a chance to prove that they are among the best. The 2017 competition began with nearly 300 applications from builders representing an elite group of individuals who have demonstrated extreme talent, creativity and craftsmanship in modifying cars, trucks and SUVs. The field was not only the largest to date but was also deep in entries of exceptional quality. This year also saw the expansion of the Young Guns recognition, which shines the light on young, up-and-coming builders in the automotive industry.
New wheels are among the easiest personalizations consumers can make to their vehicles and have therefore become a staple of the specialty-equipment industry. More than adding style, new wheels can affect functionality and performance, which means the segment is continually evolving. How can the market stay on top of the latest advances in design, materials and manufacturing processes? The answer is the annual SEMA Show, where all that and more is on display.
Wheels and tires are fundamental to every automobile and therefore remain aftermarket staples. The “2017 SEMA Market Report” estimates the current custom wheel market to be worth $1.21 billion in sales, while performance and special-purpose tires top $2.22 billion combined. Add an off-road and plus-size tire market estimated at another $1.62 billion, and it’s easy to see why 370 wheel and tire manufacturers flooded the 2017 SEMA Show floor to debut more than 175 new products alongside hundreds more of their legacy offerings.
The term “keyword” is broad and perplexing. There may still be misconceptions in the automotive aftermarket as to why they are, in fact, relevant in promoting and selling products. Let’s debunk the myth.