Tools To Grow Your Sales Overseas

SEMA News—July 2017

Chris Kersting

Tools To Grow Your Sales Overseas

Chris KerstingSEMA is well-known for producing the automotive aftermarket industry’s leading trade show, the SEMA Show. But what many members don’t know is that SEMA works throughout the year to provide our members with other tools, services and events that can help them grow their businesses.

Take for example the overseas business development conferences SEMA organizes each year. The program provides SEMA manufacturers with a low-cost, turnkey opportunity to size up new markets, meet with buyers, and determine potential. SEMA currently offers these conferences in Australia, China and the Middle East. If you’ve spoken with anyone who has taken advantage of the program, you’ve likely heard that the conferences have led directly to increased sales overseas.

And now that we’ve got more manufacturers connected and making sales abroad, we’re supporting them with tools to help with product development for non-U.S. vehicles. For example, SEMA rounds up commonly customized vehicles from within the regional market during the overseas development conferences. We make those vehicles available for measuring sessions during the trade conference week, and the team from the SEMA Garage brings our FARO 3D scanning tools to produce CAD scans for the vehicles for use in product design applications. Those scans then become available in the SEMA Tech Transfer program, our library of OEM and SEMA-generated CAD files available to all members.

Augmenting SEMA’s efforts are programs through the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). Part of DOC’s mission is to help U.S. manufacturers increase exports to overseas markets. SEMA uses DOC grant money to help reduce the cost for our members to participate in the overseas business conferences. We also use the grants to obtain and import vehicles for measuring sessions here in the United States. Those vehicles have enabled a wide range of SEMA members to develop new products for export markets.

What else is SEMA doing to foster sales abroad? Consider the work of our government affairs office in Washington, D.C. The D.C. team provides to foreign governments our model regulations that allow for vehicle modification while maintaining the carmaker’s safety and emissions compliance. SEMA’s model laws help shape the regulatory framework that permits broader use of aftermarket products in countries abroad.

And then there’s the matter of marketing in overseas markets. With more and more consumers discovering the world of tricked-out cars and trucks online, it’s more important than ever that SEMA manufacturers have product information and marketing content available online. The SEMA Data Co-op is a great set of tools and services to help our members increase sales by putting their product information where resellers and consumers are looking for it online.

And, yes, we also utilize our most popular event, the SEMA Show, to help members accomplish overseas sales growth. We market to the international buyer base, walk individuals through the process of getting visas, badges and accommodations in Las Vegas, and send them to the Center for International Commerce, our international business center to access translators, meeting rooms and networking opportunities. Through this work, eager overseas buyers come to the Show and look for new opportunities and business relationships.

So is SEMA really helping members grow international sales? Dip into any of the above SEMA programs, events and services and find out directly. It’s another example of how your trade association is creating and enhancing programs to help our members succeed. 


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