By Linda Spencer
Tips on Maximizing International Opportunities at the 2014 SEMA Show
SEMA companies interested in expanding their sales overseas or wishing to gain a foothold in key international markets for the first time should start planning now to take advantage of one of the biggest international events of the year—the 2014 SEMA Show. During the first week of November, resellers from more than 130 countries interested in purchasing performance and styling products will be descending on Las Vegas for the SEMA Show. In fact, early figures show that 25% of all buyers expected to attend this year’s Show reside outside the United States, which is similar to the percentage at the 2013 Show.
Here is a handy summary of international programs designed to help manufacturers connect to new markets and cross-border customers at this year’s Show:
Roundtable Discussions on Top Emerging Markets With Key Overseas Buyers
- Monday, November 3, Upper North Hall, Room N259
Expand your company’s reach by learning during these interactive sessions which emerging markets are the most promising for your products and why. Top specialty-equipment distributors and retailers will talk about the challenges and opportunities in their markets. Also, learn about the top-selling products for street performance, off-roading and other growing niches.
- Monday, November 3, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
- Seminar: IT1: International
- Middle East Opportunities for SEMA-Member Manufacturers
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the surrounding countries provide some of the best opportunities for U.S. manufacturers. Off-roading, car collecting and motor-sports are growing in popularity. Learn how to cash in on this lucrative region. Attendees will also learn about the details of the second SEMA one-on-one matchmaking program being held in the UAE in March 2015.
- Monday, November 3, 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
- Seminar: IT2: International
- The Developing Russian Specialty-Equipment Market
A strong contingent of buyers from this market of 140 million is expected at this second annual roundtable, bringing together exhibitors with retailers and wholesalers. Russia is the world’s sixth-largest automotive market in terms of annual passenger-vehicle sales and is the second largest in Europe after Germany. (Sales in Russia totaled about 2.6 million vehicles and Germany 2.9 million in 2013.) Russia is one of the most attractive automotive markets due to its potential for growth. According to the World Bank, there are only 271 vehicles per 1,000 people in Russia, compared with 797 per 1,000 in the United States. Growth will also come from consumers buying their second or even third vehicles, and the average age of vehicles on the road in Russia is 16 years. Russia has the highest gross domestic product per capita among the five major emerging national economies, which include Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Russia has double the per capita income of China—$20,000 compared to $11,000—and India is at about $6,000. Learn about the May 2015 trip to this market.
- Monday, November 3, 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
- Seminar: IT3: International
- Insider Tips: Selling Specialty-Equipment Products in China, the World’s Largest Emerging Automotive Market
Chinese distributors and SEMA members already successful in the region provide insider tips. Learn the latest trends, applications and perceptions of United States brands in the Chinese market. This informal, practical session will be a great opportunity to meet with press and distributors of specialty products to assist you in deciding if this market of 1.3 billion people is a good fit for your products. Learn about the growing distribution system of the emerging markets as the outlet for U.S. goods spreads to shops throughout China—the most advanced market in the developing world.
Center for International Commerce
Exhibitors and international buyers are invited to use the Center for International Commerce (CIC) throughout the SEMA Show. Three private conference rooms and interpreters in key languages will be available free of charge. The CIC will be located in room N255 of the Las Vegas Convention Center and is a valuable resource for SEMA Show exhibitors and international buyers. SEMA’s international staff will be on hand at the CIC, as will a team of interpreters to assist in bilingual communication in key languages that include German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Portuguese. Complimentary private meeting rooms are also available.
International Happy Hour
More than 1,000 companies are expected at the 11th annual SEMA International Happy Hour. The event provides an excellent opportunity to network with buyers and distributors from around the world. Top international media from key overseas markets will also be in attendance. The event is open to exhibitors and international buyers. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit sema.org/international.
Ninth AnnualGlobal Media Awards
The Global Media Awards will once again be selected by a group of top automotive journalists from more than 20 countries who will each name 10 products from the New Products Showcase that they think will most appeal to consumers in their home markets. Winning companies receive the awards, which signify the global appeal of their products, and the companies will be recognized at the International Happy Hour. To be considered, make sure that your products are featured in the New Products Showcase.
International Sales Staff
Arrange for your designated international sales manager to be available at the 2014 SEMA Show to meet with foreign buyers.
“We Export” Signs
Let international buyers know that you export. Display a multilingual “We Export” sign in your booth. Don’t know where to get one? Contact email@example.com.
Manufacture Products for Overseas Vehicles?
Put a sign in the your booth notifying customers that you make products for the Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger T6 and other vehicles widely accessorized overseas but not sold in the United States.