Cover Story

On July 26, I begin a two-year term as SEMA Chairman. I am focused on improving SEMA and helping our association provide solutions to help our members solve problems. There are many SEMA programs that benefit our member businesses, and most of them are explained regularly in our magazines and newsletters.



  • Car Care UpdateCar-care products—the creams, coatings, polishes and waxes that provide luster and shine and help prolong the life of myriad interior and exterior components—are among the most ubiquitous in the automotive aftermarket. You need never set foot in an auto-parts store in your lifetime to come across them, as nearly every grocery store, drug store, convenience store and car wash in America stocks a respectable range of them.

  • PowersportsOf the many categories that comprise the aftermarket, powersports stands out with consumers for its ability to offer fun, utility and outdoor recreation. According to research by Global Market Insights, the industry is expected to trend upward from $11 billion in 2018 to $14.5 billion by 2025. Interestingly, much of the current growth is attributable not to motorcycles, the category’s traditional stalwarts, but to the rise of utility-task vehicles (UTVs), also commonly called side-by-sides.

Business Technology

  • SDC LogoThe 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 continue to expand reference as more brands are added to the SDC repository.

Chris Kersting

  • Chris Kersting

    We’ve written before about the industry-wide challenge posed by advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and how such systems present both opportunities and challenges for the specialty aftermarket. Consumer demand and the opportunity for car makers to distinguish their newest models is driving rapid deployment and, indeed, the systems are bringing significant real-world benefits by reducing injuries and accidents.

From The Hill

  • Senator MaynardAt the 2018 SEMA Show, West Virginia State Senator Mark Maynard was introduced as the first-ever winner of the Stephen B. McDonald Legislator of the Year award. Representing the Sixth District, Senator Maynard was recognized for his efforts in the West Virginia Senate to promote policies and legislation that support the automotive hobby.

Government Affairs

  • TiresThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has concluded that it is technologically possible to provide tire identification number (TIN) data in an electronic format for all tires. The findings are included in a Congressional study required under the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act. The electronically readable data would be a marking or tag within or on the tire sidewall. The TIN could then be captured and transmitted electronically using a handheld scanning tool.

Industry News

  • Bronco Mule: The Bronco will have body-on-frame construction and (unlike the Ranger) will have coil-spring solid axles in the front and rear. 

    Ranger Diesel: This Ranger prototype could foreshadow a diesel version of the midsize truck for the U.S. market.

    ’20 Shelby GT500: Ford stated that the GT500 will be capable of mid-three-second 0–60-mph and sub-11-sec. quarter-mile scores. 

  • Industry news from SEMA-member companies, including Competition Specialties, Battery-Biz, Ridetech and Babcox Media Inc.

  • SEMA recently announced the availability of its newest member benefit: the “2019 Business Resource Guide.” The guide, which is available electronically at and is included in a print version through the May issue of SEMA News, features contact information and descriptions of SEMA-member companies offering services specific to the automotive aftermarket industry.


  • Internet DysartIT security pros are gearing up in earnest for the newest threat to corporate security: viruses, malware and similar cybersecurity attacks turbocharged with artificial intelligence (AI). The reason: Just as AI is remaking every other part of the digital world with applications that can think for themselves and grow smarter over time, the wonder technology is also being hijacked by hackers to imbue already dangerous cyber threats with machine intelligence and creativity.

Member News

  • Not many years ago, the term automotive restoration typically conjured images of vintage vehicles lovingly restored and brought back to life true to their original condition. Recently, modern technology and innovation have made inroads into the restoration marketplace, spawning a growing interest in restomods upfitted with modern-day modifications yet still retaining their classic look.

  • A quick search of the SEMA website ( reveals an abundance of member benefits covering a range of business resources and solutions. In fact, no matter a company’s membership category—manufacturer, distributor, manufacturers’ rep, retailer or installer—there are tools and resources to help companies make smarter business decisions; be more strategic; save money; and expand their network among like-minded colleagues and industry leaders.

  • Manufacturers’ representatives are key channel partners. They are in the unique position to connect with virtually every aspect of the supply chain. From sales calls to warehouse distributors, retailers and installers in the territories they represent to their in-depth product and industry knowledge and sales expertise, reps provide valuable professional services to the manufacturers they represent.

  • Walk around the SEMA Show or attend any industry meeting or event anywhere, and you’ll cross paths with scores of businesswomen engaged in all aspects and at all levels of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. That wasn’t always the case.

  • Vehicle technology is evolving at lightning speed. For the automotive aftermarket, revolutionary new technologies such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and light detection and ranging (LIDAR) present both challenges and opportunities.

  • Over the years, the Wheel & Tire Council (WTC, formerly known as the Wheel Industry Council, WIC) has not only brought together two related industry segments for the common good but has also centered its sights on the collective technical and educational needs of its members.

  • It’s official. Against an awe-inspiring backdrop of towering red rock formations for which Moab, Utah, is renowned, the light-truck and off-road communities celebrated the rebranding of the Light Truck Accessories Alliance (LTAA) into the more inclusive Truck & Off-Road Alliance (TORA) at an official launch party on April 18.

  • Members of the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) are not just part of a community of like-minded professionals. Membership in PRO also gives employees of member companies a voice on matters that influence and impact the restyling market—and that can help to effect change.

  • In today’s ever-evolving market, it’s critical that SEMA members have a chance to weigh in on issues that influence and impact the specialty-equipment market, and one of the most effective ways to have a voice is through participation in a SEMA council. For companies engaged in the motorsports segment, the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) provides that opportunity, but the success of any SEMA council or network is reliant on volunteers—industry pros who raise their hands and express their willingness to become actively involved.

  • From its early days as the Street Rod Marketing Alliance (SRMA) to what is now the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA), the hot-rod industry has been a formidable force within the specialty-equipment market. In keeping with its efforts to provide business-building resources, the council has always ranked education as a top priority. Nowhere is the focus on learning experiences more in evidence than at the National Street Rod Association (NSRA) Street Rod Nationals.

New Products

  • The Maxi-Miser 7700 TrueHVLP Spray GunIt may be the one segment of the automotive aftermarket that no enthusiast ever really wants to get too acquainted with, but it’s one of the most essential and one of the most universally patronized. Specifically, it’s the collision-repair sector—the companies and shops that manufacture and apply the paints, finishes and replacement bodywork that can transform a dinged-up road casualty into a like-new machine.

  • Step Hitch CoverTechnological advancements in restyling and car-care products and accessories enable this sector of the automotive aftermarket to continue to thrive. The launch of new vehicle models and the shift from smaller cars to trucks and SUVs provide additional opportunities for customization. In order to survive in this marketplace, manufacturers must be innovative and keep up with the latest trends and evolving vehicle technology.

People And Places

  • On July 26, I begin a two-year term as SEMA Chairman. I am focused on improving SEMA and helping our association provide solutions to help our members solve problems. There are many SEMA programs that benefit our member businesses, and most of them are explained regularly in our magazines and newsletters.


Products / Catalog

  • Trigger 6 Shooter Jeep JL EditionTraditionally dominated by motorcycles, the powersports segment is expanding dynamically, thanks to the explosive popularity of side-by-sides, aka utility task vehicles (UTVs). The latter have brought off-roading enjoyment to a mostly family-oriented audience that eyes modifications focused on utility, performance and safety. But whatever the vehicle of choice, there were 416 powersports-related items showcased at the 2018 SEMA Show to cover them all. They ran the gamut from engine performance and suspension enhancements to batteries, towing and recovery gear, and appearance accessories.

Required Reading

  • Race Tech

    The SEMA Show’s worldwide appeal was again evident in 2018, with journalists from more than 40 different countries making the trek to Las Vegas to report on the latest trends, technology and products in the automotive aftermarket. Among the hundreds of international journalists who attended last year’s trade show were 30 from different parts of the world who helped present Global Media Awards to manufacturers whose products, unveiled at the SEMA Show, would have considerable appeal in their home countries.

Retail Store Review

  • Del Amo MotorsportsDel Amo Motorsports’ humble beginnings can be traced back to 1985 in a 6,000-sq.-ft. facility in Redondo Beach, California, offering a single product line. The company now features multiple product offerings across a wide spectrum of machines in four locations throughout Southern California, with the original one now encompassing 45,000 sq. ft.

SEMA Heritage

  • HeritageHot Rod—the bible of all-American, big-cube performance—allotted four pages of its July 1967 issue to a story on an import-car dealership in Riverside, California, that was on the cutting edge of a growing automotive phenomenon.