Mike Imlay

What’s Trending in 2015

Additive manufacturing was front and center at the recent SEMA Show in Las Vegas, with Local Motors “3D printing” its Strati car on the Show floor for the SEMA Cruise.Some Insights From the Annual SEMA Show

What are some of the latest trends hitting the aftermarket in 2015? If you were in Las Vegas this past November for the annual SEMA Show, you likely already have some answers to that question. There’s no better barometer than the Show to preview the hottest products and innovations taking hold of consumers. The following are just a few of the latest trends that SEMA News editors observed not only grabbing attention on the Show floor itself but also in post-Show media wrap-ups afterward.


YEN Launch Pad Helps Propel Young Entrepreneurs

Few automotive specialty-equipment veterans doubt that the industry’s future rests in identifying potential young entrepreneurs and igniting in them the sort of passion and bold innovation that will create a fresh new generation of market leaders. The question is: how? Launching new ideas today is daunting even for large companies with plenty of resources, let alone for young, small-business-minded men and women.

Rich Barsamian SEMA Person of the Year

Over the course of his career, Rich Barsamian has forged an impressive list of accomplishments while working for some of the industry’s most recognized companies, including Grant, Edelbrock, GT Performance Products and Advanced Clutch Technology. Along the way, he has also served on SEMA select committees for the Young Executive Network (YEN), the Motorsports Parts Manufacturer Council (MPMC), the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) and the SEMA Scholarship Committee.

RCTS Canada Touts Performance and Technological Expertise

RCTS boasts four lifts, an in-floor dyno and electronics and fuel-injection labs. The shop’s motto is, “Technology is the only substitute for cubic inches.”The banner at the top of the RCTS Canada website reads, “Technology is the only substitute for cubic inches.” It’s a saying that the retail performance outlet has lived by since owner Reg Riemer founded it in 1996. Over the years, RCTS has worked closely with factory shops ranging from TTE-Toyota Team Europe to HKS to boost its technical and R&D credentials. In fact, RCTS has carved out a specific niche as the only licensed, fully supported HKS Pro Dealer in all of Canada.

“Reg actually started by selling HKS products out of his garage way back,” explained shop foreman Antony Ray. “Soon he had to get a building to sell them out of, and things grew.

The Industry’s Data Game-Changer

Perhaps the most exciting news for SDC members is the debut of SEMA Search, a new online tool developed to deliver retailers and counter people in part stores, web businesses and warehouses a one-stop reference for SDC-member products.An Exclusive Progress Report on the SEMA Data Co-op

When SEMA launched the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) a little over two years ago, the goal was admittedly ambitious: to revolutionize the way automotive specialty-equipment manufacturers (data suppliers) convey product information to warehouse distributors and resellers (data receivers) for the benefit of all. Now, according to Jon Wyly, the co-op’s CEO, the SDC is delivering thousands of data sets a week, representing millions of part numbers and tens of millions of vehicle applications, through a database that continues to grow by leaps and bounds daily.

Meet the 2014–2015 SEMA Board of Directors

As a trade association, SEMA is governed by a Board of Directors, which is elected by the SEMA membership at large. Board members serve three-year terms, with the chairman-elect automatically assuming the role of Board chairman after completing his or her two-year term.

“The SEMA Board of Directors is vital for setting our priorities and addressing issues that promote growth for all the association’s member businesses,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. “Our directors represent the breadth and depth of the $33-billion specialty-equipment industry, and we appreciate their spirit of volunteerism, along with the considerable industry experience and insight they bring to their leadership role.”

SEMA Show Tips for Buyers

The SEMA Cruise at the close of the Show on Friday has become a popular annual event. It culminates this year in SEMA Ignited, a new public event at The LINQ near the Quad at the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. Both events give buyers opportunities to see the vehicles and products currently exciting consumers.Get the Most From Your 2014 Experience

Larger than ever for 2014, this year’s SEMA Show promises to connect buyers with more than 2,300 exhibitors while offering an exciting look at more than a million square feet of industry innovation both inside and outside the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC). With thousands of products, display vehicles, booths and business-enhancing activities to choose from, how do buyers begin to navigate this massive world of opportunity? The key, said SEMA Show Director Tom Gattuso, is to strategize beforehand and hit the ground running.

It’s Official!

Since its official open house in July, the new SEMA Garage—Industry Innovations Center has garnered high marks from the SEMA’s membership. In fact, its summer-evening debut attracted more than 700 industry professionals for a firsthand tour of the comprehensive facility designed to help members bring fresh specialty-equipment products to market, from concept to complete photographed state.The SEMA Garage Opens to Industry Wows

As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. In recent months, the new SEMA Garage—Industry Innovations Center has officially thrown its doors wide open to SEMA members, welcoming them to let their creativity flow within the new facility. In return, the initial industry response has been incredible. Clearly, SEMA membership is intrigued with the possibilities.

Retailer Spotlight

The tuner shop has six lift-equipped bays, including a four-poster with alignment and balancing systems. Kaizen Tuning also has a dyno and full fabrication capabilities.Kaizen Tuning Partners With Suppliers for Success

“It was brutal, but we really saw a need,” he recalled. “I took delivery of one of the first Nissan GTRs on the East Coast. I’ve been to Japan many times and have seen how that car is treated over there. You don’t even need an appointment at a Nissan dealership for service. Here in the United States, [the dealership] didn’t really know how to handle a $100,000 supercar. They were treating it like a Sentra or a Maxima. That wasn’t going to work for me, so I started servicing it out of my home garage. After we were probably a month in, I had about five of them in my driveway. My wife told me it was about time to find someplace to do the business full time.”


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