The purpose of the SEMA Garage is to assist members with product development by providing a resource containing tools and hosting events designed to reduce the time needed to go from prototype to final product.
By Jason Catullo
One of the newest benefits available to SEMA manufacturing members is the SEMA Garage-Industry Innovations Center located adjacent to the SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, California. The garage is designed as a resource to help members shorten the process of getting products from the drawing board to store shelves.
As a member resource, one of the functions of the SEMA Garage is to serve as the main location for most of SEMA's Measuring Sessions—a SEMA and OEM partnership that provides members with access to upcoming vehicles, most often, before they hit dealerships. Members take their turns scanning, examining and measuring the vehicles for accurate, hands-on specs used to begin prototyping. In the past, Measuring Sessions required manufacturers to travel to various locations, typically within a two-day timeframe, and carry the gear needed to record accurate vehicle data.
With the SEMA Garage, vehicles can stay in one location for a longer period of time, stretching the time-constrained measuring sessions from days to weeks, in most cases. Not only are vehicles available to members longer, the new suite of tools, work benches and scanners will also help alleviate the need for members to transport a large amount of equipment.
To date, the value of the tools and equipment included in the garage is nearly $2 million. One of latest items added to the SEMA Garage is a Faro arm, also called a coordinate-measuring machine, along with some PolyWorks software. The newly added device can be used to scan complete vehicles and individual parts.
The SEMA Garage is stocked with a host of tools and equipment to help members obtain vehicle specs and data, eliminating the need for members to transport extra gear.
As an example of some of the measuring sessions and special events that have taken place at the SEMA Garage include the first-ever Mega Measuring Session in July, which featured five popular vehicles for members to preview—the Chevrolet Silverado, Toyota Tundra, Ford Focus ST, Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger ST.
The SEMA Garage recently hosted a Honda Measuring Session that featured, for the first time ever, three motorcycles and an ATV.
The facility was also recently the home to another first—the Honda/Acura Measuring Session featuring ’14 versions of the Honda Grom, CTX700 and Goldwing F6B motorcycles, the Pioneer SXS all-terrain vehicle and Odyssey minivan. The ’14 Acura MDX midsize SUV and RLX mid-luxury sedan were also available for members to explore.
The SEMA Garage is also serving as the installation hub for the exclusive WD-40/SEMA Cares Foose Ford F-150. All work for the build program will be done at the SEMA Garage. Foose Design and WD-40 Co.—through a partnership with the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts—will have leading SEMA manufacturers working alongside underprivileged teens and young adults to complete the truck to auction off for the benefit of SEMA Cares charities.
SEMA members are encouraged to take advantage of this industry-owned facility for product development, fitment, research and much more. For more information about the SEMA Garage—Industry Innovations Center, including upcoming events and availability, contact Mike Spagnola at email@example.com.