Mike Imlay

Are Young Enthusiasts Vanishing?

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(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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Racing Youth

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Selling to the Young Motorsports Segment

There is little doubt that motorsports has matured as a mainstream sporting genre in the last five decades, helping to grow the performance aftermarket into a stable, nearly $30-billion industry. Of course, the hope is that both motorsports and the industry will also stay forever young amid this maturation, with fresh new faces rejuvenating the racing scene and manufacturers continuing to revitalize their product lines. So which racing segments are “young” today, and how does the industry engage them?

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Exit Stage Right

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Why Every Business Owner Needs a Plan

It’s as inevitable as death and taxes: If you’re a business owner, one way or another, you’ll eventually leave your enterprise. The only question is how—and whether you’ll do so on your own terms.

Will you retire gracefully? Pass your company on to family? Opt for a management buyout? Go for a merger or acquisition? Or will unforeseen circumstances force your exit sooner than expected?

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Tire Segment Shows Its Strength

For the third year in a row, the Tire Industry Association (TIA) allied with SEMA to present the Global Tire Expo (GTE)—Powered by TIA at the recent 2012 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Designed as a freestanding tire industry “show within a show,” the GTE has proven to be an ongoing hit with attendees representing every sector of the tire industry, from automotive to commercial and from retreading to recycling.

Early Adopters Share Their SEMA Data Co-op Insights

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Speaking of Data

An industry-owned and operated project, the Data Co-op is designed to bring full product data management capabilities to participating suppliers at the lowest possible cost.After nine months of beta testing, the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) is poised to transition to a full system launch beginning in January. During its beta phase, the SDC came to encompass more than 125 data suppliers and more than 55 industry resellers representing data exports from more than 25 brands within the specialty-equipment marketplace. Recently demonstrated at the 2012 SEMA Show, the SDC promises to revolutionize the aftermarket’s approach to product data.

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New SEMA Market Update Now Available

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Study Examines Q2 2012 Economic Indicators and More

SEMA Market Update, Q2 2012, is the latest in a series of regularly published reports tracking economic benchmarks and trends affecting the $30 billion specialty-equipment industry.

SEMA members have come to rely on the association’s annual Market Report, a comprehensive research project summarizing economic, sales and new-vehicle trends of the past year affecting the $30 billion automotive specialty-equipment industry. Complete as that report is, however, SEMA backs it up with quarterly updates that track the latest trends and examine “Current Topics” through special sections to arm members with new research or information sources to better understand ongoing industry changes. The latest version, SEMA Market Update, Q2 2012, is now available.

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Mobile Utility

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Bettering Your Business With Apps

The words “there’s an app for that” have become somewhat of a cliché—and with good reason. Not long ago, many businesses pursued mobile applications mainly as a gimmicky exercise in marketing. Having a cool branded game or similar whiz-bang app was considered a trendy way to burnish a company’s image with smartphone and tablet users. But times are changing, and the world of apps is maturing.

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