Required Reading

The SEMA Garage

SEMA Garage—Industry Innovations CenterSEMA recently hosted members of the media for a tour of the SEMA Garage–Industry Innovations Center. The event was held in conjunction with Collector Car Appreciation Day on July 12, 2013, at SEMA’s headquarters in Diamond Bar, California.

The SEMA Garage-Industry Innovations Center helps businesses create and design products for the automotive accessory market. Outfitted with nearly $2 million worth of equipment, the SEMA Garage features a complete emissions-testing cell for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) certification. In addition, a 3D lab, complete with a Faro arm and a 3D scanner, allows member companies to quickly scan production cars and accurately model production parts. Media who joined the tour were also given the opportunity to see additional equipment, including digital race car scales, vehicle lifts and a temperature-controlled test cell. Some of the coverage is highlighted below.

Presidential Export Award

The magazine laid out details of SEMA’s international relations program to assist its members in growing their businesses in strategic overseas markets. SEMA was recently honored with the Presidential Export Award —or “E” Award—from U.S. Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank in Washington, D.C. The President’s “E” Award was created by President John F. Kennedy in 1961.

“E” Awards were presented to a total of 57 recipients this year. Criteria for the award is based upon four years of successive export growth and case studies that demonstrate valuable support to exporters resulting in increased exports for the member company’s clients.

SEMA Provides “Fuel for Thought”

SEMA has a long history of monitoring federal and state legislative topics that are of interest to the automotive industry as well as the association’s member companies and their customers. One key topic of current concern is the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)—a law that requires annual increases in the amount of ethanol to be added to gasoline. The SEMA Action Network (SAN) recently helped organize antique-car owners and motorcyclists from all over the country to participate in a “Fuel for Thought” rally on Capitol Hill in opposition to the RFS.

This issue is important to automotive enthusiasts because ethanol’s chemical properties pose a risk to older cars and motorcycles. Ethanol absorbs water, which can lead to metal corrosion. It can also dissolve certain rubbers and plastics. Most older vehicles and many motorcycles are not constructed with ethanol-compatible materials.

The SEMA Show—From Concept to Reality

As the saying goes: “If you can dream it, you can build it.” Year after year, media and trade professionals from all over the world converge on the SEMA Show in Las Vegas to take in the elite of custom builds that showcase an array of specialty-equipment market parts and accessories. Frequently, these vehicles contain custom wheels and tires, exhausts, shocks and paints, which are all chosen with great care. In many cases, Show exhibitors are the ones producing the products that play a key role in these vehicles, giving them added exposure and notoriety. In addition to amazing vehicles that tantalize car enthusiasts the world over, the SEMA Show also attracts new and existing products from a wide array of manufacturers, drawing buyers and driving traffic to Show booths.

SEMA Show Starts Off Strong

This year’s SEMA Show booth-selection process was a success. Almost 2,000 exhibitors signed up for priority booth selection, which took place May 2–15, 2013. This represents a 6% increase over last year’s numbers, and a complete, updated floorplan is now available at Since 91% of buyers base their decisions on whether to attend the SEMA Show partly on what companies are exhibiting, these numbers are certainly a testament to the early support and enthusiasm for this year’s SEMA Show. Companies are able to sign up any time for exhibit space at The SEMA Show is set for November 5–8, 2013, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

SEMA’s International Program Making Headlines

While the United States continues to lead the way in automotive customization, vehicle owners throughout the world are increasingly seeking hot new products to make their cars and trucks personal and unique. This growing international interest means that SEMA manufacturing members have opportunities to grow their businesses overseas. Exporting products can be profitable, but determining where the hot markets are and what the hot products are can be a challenge. The SEMA international relations department is focused on assisting. Check out some of the recent media clips that do a great job of explaining just how SEMA is helping.

SEMA Show in Print—Part Two

Last month, we highlighted several consumer magazines that had great coverage from the 2012 SEMA Show. The great coverage isn’t limited to just consumer publications. Several industry trade magazines reported on the SEMA Show, complete with highlights of vehicles, products and people. Here’s a small sampling.

SEMA Show in Print—Part One

While the SEMA Show is a trade-only event not open to the general public, thousands of editors and writers report on the annual Show, thereby giving consumers a chance to see what’s new in the industry. Several publications do a great job of scouring the Las Vegas Convention Center to bring their readers the best of the best. Many spend four or more days visiting with the 2,000-plus exhibitors at the SEMA Show. Check out what some publications found, and stay tuned next month for even more SEMA Show clips.

Automakers at the SEMA Show

The majority of the exhibitors at the SEMA Show are small businesses, but automakers are just as important and are essential to the industry. Many of the OEMs participate by exhibiting at the Show. In addition to generating attendee interest, the automakers also create buzz in the media. Here are just a few articles that resulted from the 2012 SEMA Show.


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