Cover Story

On Friday, July 24, SEMA will host its annual Installation Gala. At that event, SEMA Board Chairman Nate Shelton will pass the leadership torch to SEMA’s new chairman, Doug Evans. Evans has more than 30 years experience in the industry and a long history of service on behalf of the association, including three prior terms on the Board of Directors.

SEMA News recently interviewed Evans about his perspectives, goals and priorities as chairman.


  • 2014 SEMA Annual Market ReportThe restyling market traditionally consists of interior and exterior accessories and includes products used to personalize vehicles that are not clearly assigned to other automotive specialty-equipment market niches.

  • 3D Printing Going MainstreamIs there a 3D printer in your future? It’s really no longer a question of if, but when. That’s because now, after more than three decades, the technology known officially as “additive manufacturing” is finally maturing and mainstreaming—and transforming modern manufacturing in the process.

Business Technology

  • Jon WylyBelieve it or not, one of the most common excuses for business people to put off change is to simply declare, “We’re too busy.” Too busy to hire more help, too busy to evaluate internal systems, too busy to change a simple process that will pay for itself many times over.

    If you are part of the “too busy” crowd, it’s time to stop and take a breath. Spend some time looking around the company, listen to feedback from the folks who are actually doing the work, then take some sort of positive step forward to implement bits of efficiency, no matter how small.

  • SEMA Data Co-opThe SEMA Data Co-op has become “data central” for hundreds of specialty parts brands, representing millions of part numbers, and tens of millions of vehicle applications. This directory is designed to guide data users to brands that have successfully undertaken the challenge to manage their product data, and to be a continually expanding reference as more brands are added to the SDC repository.

Chris Kersting

  • Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO With the arrival of July, SEMA initiates a new fiscal year and budget. It’s an exciting and challenging time for both the association staff and the Board of Directors. As we embark on another financial cycle, we can report that good management and long-term financial planning have put the association in position to invest in tools and programs to help members with product development, vehicle technology integration, regulatory compliance and delivering digital marketing content to the world. We are pressing forward today with significant services and tools that will benefit members for years to come. But you have to use the programs to get the benefits!

Government Affairs

  • Law and Order is an update of some of the most recent federal and state legislative and regulatory issues that could potentially impact the automotive specialty-equipment industry. These include issues affecting small-business owners and their employees.

Industry News

  • Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 SEMA Battle of the Builders, the association’s build competition that debuted last year and was the focus of a Velocity TV special viewed by more than one million fans.

  • Breaking news from SEMA-member companies, including AP Exhaust Technologies LLC, Meyer Distributing Inc., Holley Performance, WELD Racing and more.

  • GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Silverado Facelifts

    Fullsize prototypes for the Silverado and Sierra were caught running on the streets of Milford, Michigan, sporting new facelifts and additional visual changes.

    ’16 Mustang Shelby GT350R

    This red Mustang Shelby GT350R prototype was seen testing on the streets of Dearborn, Michigan.

    Ford GT Prototype

    The Ford GT has hit public roads with an early, undisguised prototype revealing its carbon-fiber weave and a sleek, show-car shape.


  • What Global Customers DriveThe Ford Mustang, Jeep Wrangler and Chevrolet Silverado pickup were winners of the 2014 SEMA Awards, recognizing the year’s hottest vehicles. Does your company make products for those vehicles? Do you sell your products primarily in the United States? If you answered yes to both of these questions but want to expand your sales outside the United States, SEMA’s make/model data can help you get started by giving you easy-to-use information that will help you identify the best markets in terms of vehicle registrations. Through a joint program with the U.S. Department of Commerce and IHS Automotive, SEMA has complied the data into a user-friendly resource.


  • Score One for the Little GuyAs of June 2015, telecommunications and cable companies were knocked back on their heels when new government regulations took effect prohibiting those companies from allowing some company websites to download faster than others. The move restores what has commonly become known as net neutrality—or equal access to the Internet.

Member News

  • Light Truck Accessory Alliance

    The Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) installed new leadership on July 1. Lee McGuire, the new chair, first joined the aftermarket industry in 2003. She brings a great deal of volunteer experience to the position, having served previously on the select committees of the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC), the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network and the Young Executives Network. McGuire is currently the Superlift Suspension Systems director of marketing.

  • Hot Rod Industry AllianceIn January, the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) transitioned to new leadership, with John McLeod leading the charge as chair. McLeod is the owner of Classic Instruments in Boyne City, Michigan, a manufacturer and seller of custom instrumentation for automobiles and boats. Before entering the automotive industry, McLeod was a police officer for 16 years.

  • Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) - SEMA CouncilFor more than a year, the select committee of the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) has been discussing how to best address council members’ need for data access and organization. Quite a bit of vehicle data from the ’80s and ’90s is unavailable—information that manufacturers could use for product research.

  • SEMA Member NewsMembers have heard a lot lately from SEMA’s membership department about some exciting new benefits. In addition to expanding services such as data management through the SEMA Data Co-op and product-development tools through the SEMA Garage, the association still collaborates with strategic partners to offer programs aimed at saving members on their business expenses. Here is a closer look at what First Data, the Specialty Equipment Insurance Alliance and UPS offer to members.

  • Scholarship Committee

    The question of how to involve the next generation in the automotive specialty-equipment industry is a topic that comes up in nearly every SEMA membership meeting. Over the last year, the Board of Directors and staff have put quite a bit of thought and effort into developing youth-engagement initiatives.

  • Young Executives NetworkNow in its third year, the Launch Pad program offers innovators under the age of 40 an industry platform to showcase their businesses and win a significant package to help them market a new automotive product or service. Earlier this year, members of the Young Executives Network (YEN) were invited to prepare three-minute videos pitching their companies’ most exciting products and services. A YEN task force made up of network leaders looked at all of the videos and whittled the competition down to the 10 best.

  • SEMA Businesswomen's NetworkThere have been only a handful of women on the SEMA Board of Directors (BOD), and four of them chaired the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) before rising to the Board. Luanne Brown is one of those women.

  • Manufacturers Representative NetworkThe Manufacturers’ Representative Network (MRN) has continued to collaborate with the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) to provide valuable and user-friendly benefits to reps. Over the past few months, several exciting projects have received attention. Here is an update for MRN members.

  • Emerging Trends and Technology Netwrok

    Ten members of the Emerging Trends and Technology Network (ETTN) attended a Social Media Strategies Summit in February in Las Vegas. This event was the first in a series of Professional Development Programs that ETTN curated for its members in 2015.

  • Wheel and Tire Council

    On July 1, Joe Schaefer’s two-year term as chair of the Wheel & Tire Council (WTC) came to an end and Joe Findeis was initiated into the position. As the founder and president of Wheel Consultants Inc., Findeis handles operations in addition to developing tire and wheel fitment data for the company’s online programs and publication. He is also the creator of “The Ultimate Wheel and Tire Plus Sizing Guide,” the tire and wheel fitment guide known as “The Red Book.”

  • Professional Restylers OrganizationScott Wolin is an industry veteran who has served in a number of roles within SEMA and the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) over the past 25 years. He became PRO’s chair on July 1, his second run in the position. Wolin is the sales manager for Chicago Parts & Sound (CPS), a company focused on supporting dealership customers by improving their sales. As such, he focuses on educating dealers about the benefits of accessorizing and growing CPS’s key markets.

  • Motorsports Parts Manufacturers CouncilAfter 18 years of success, the SEMA Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council’s (MPMC) annual Media Trade Conference (MTC) is still going strong. Every January, the conference takes place at an Embassy Suites in Southern California, where 100 MPMC members set up meeting space in their own individual suites and host 30-minute meetings with journalists.

New Products

  • Motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, snowmobiles and personal watercraft—small on size, big on entertainment value. And the New Products Showcase at the 2014 SEMA Show was brimming with powersports accessories designed to boost performance, add functionality and enhance appearance. The next few pages highlight the new and featured products displayed in the powersports category of the Showcase.

  • Restyling and Car care Accessories

    More than 100 products were displayed under the car-care and restyling classifications in the New Products Showcase at the 2014 SEMA Show. They ranged from body parts and panels to traditional waxes and cutting-edge vinyl wraps and clears. We’ve gathered the new introductions into this listing and have included comments on car-care trends from professionals with some of the leading and most innovative companies in the segment. Enjoy!

Required Reading


  • 2014 SEMA Annual Market ReportThe restyling market traditionally consists of interior and exterior accessories and includes products used to personalize vehicles that are not clearly assigned to other automotive specialty-equipment market niches.

Retail Store Review

  • Velocity Automotive GroupCatering to a small niche market in Europe for the past 10 years, Velocity Automotive Group, based in Munich, imports and distributes parts from more than 500 manufacturers for American performance cars and trucks. This particular niche revolves around the Mustang, which is wildly popular in America but not nearly as common in Europe. However, according to Johannes Crepon, the company’s owner, the American performance market in Europe is still exciting because it’s so diverse. The customer base ranges from aging enthusiasts who have always dreamed of owning and restoring a vintage Mustang to Millennials who prefer late-model Camaros, Corvettes and Ram trucks.

SEMA Heritage

  • Not content with launching just a publishing empire, Robert E. Petersen put on a series of car shows in the early ’50s that he called Motorama. The first one was held in 1950 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, but later shows were staged at the art deco palace that was the Pan Pacific Auditorium. Hot rods, Bonneville race cars, drag racers and custom cars straight from the pages of Petersen’s magazines made up a big portion of these Motorama shows, but they also included new cars, antiques, motorcycles and classics from the ’30s and ’40s.