Last Chance to Submit Council and Network Award Nominations

DIAMOND BAR, CA (08.31.2021) – SEMA members have until September 3 to submit nominations for the 2021 SEMA Council and Network Awards.  

SEMA Council and Network Awards honor the dedication and passion that drives the automotive aftermarket industry by recognizing companies and individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the niche automotive aftermarket segments that they represent.  

SEMA Council and Network Awards honor the dedication and passion that drives the automotive aftermarket industry by recognizing companies and individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the niche automotive aftermarket segments that they represent.  

If you know of a council or network member who has significantly enhanced the stature and growth of the industry, nominate them for an award today so that they may have the chance to get the recognition that they deserve.  

Nominations are open for the following councils and networks:

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SEMA Hot Rod Industry Alliance Select Committee Participated in SEMA Leadership Meetings

LAS VEGAS, NV (08.03.2021) – The SEMA Hot Rod Industry Alliance Select Committee participated in the recent SEMA Leadership Meetings in Las Vegas. SEMA Board of Directors and Councils and SEMA staff discussed the critical initiatives the SEMA Board is focused on for our industry. SEMA will be publishing these initiatives in the very near future.

Now the SEMA HRIA select committee is heading to Louisville this week for the NSRA Street Rod Nationals hosting education days for the Hot Rod industry.

Left to Right – Kris Bluntzer-Empire Garage, Joe Kubiak-Wilwood, Tim McCarthy-Chair Elect HUSHMAT/ZyCoat, Danny Agosta-Chair Steele Rubber, Jeff Major- IPC Bed Wood, David Page-Edelbrock Group, Amy Fitzgerald-Cool Hand Customs.

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SEMA Solidifies Detroit Presence; Selects Benjamin Kaminsky as Detroit Operations Manager

DIAMOND BAR, CA (08.02.2021) – SEMA has announced the hiring of Benjamin Kaminsky as the new Detroit operations manager. Earlier this year, SEMA announced the purchase of a 45,000-sq.-ft. building in Detroit to be used as a second SEMA Garage. Kaminsky will be responsible for the overall management of SEMA Garage Detroit services and facilities to assist members with new product development and integration.

“Benjamin Kaminsky will be a great addition to our SEMA Garage team,” said Mike Spagnola, vice president of OEM & product development programs. “He comes to SEMA with over 20 years of experience in the automotive and automotive aftermarket industry as an engineering and project manager having worked at both automakers and tier-one suppliers.”

Benjamin Kaminsky

Kaminsky will work closely with domestic and import OEMs, along with tier-level suppliers and testing facilities to ensure flow of information essential to the industry’s accurate development of new and innovative products. They will also collaborate to develop opportunities that will benefit SEMA-member manufacturers. Kaminsky’s experience will allow him to cultivate these relationships. Prior to joining SEMA, Kaminsky worked at General Motors as a senior design and release engineer. He oversaw the design, development, validation and release of Chevrolet Performance air intakes, exhausts and components for use in performance applications. He also worked closely with GM emissions compliance and legal groups to ensure engineering hardware development and release processes consistently delivered products that met and exceeded regulatory requirements.

Prior to GM, Kaminsky worked at Bosch Motorsport in a variety of roles, from senior technical engineer to hardware development manager. He managed a department of engineers to develop hardware components for the professional racing industry.

“With his experience and solid OEM and tier supplier relationships, Ben will help the SEMA Garage Detroit best serve our manufacturer members,” shared Spagnola.

The SEMA Garage Detroit will offer manufacturers access to advanced product-development tools and equipment, a state-of-the-art emissions testing lab, an ADAS research and development center and expert technicians who will help bring products to market at the SEMA Garage Detroit. The Detroit facility will give aftermarket parts manufacturers access to sophisticated resources that are typically accessible only to large-scale manufacturers. In addition to exclusive OEM measuring sessions, scanning services, advanced tools and equipment, a CARB-recognized emissions lab and a modern training center, the Detroit facility will include expanded services and offer new SEMA benefits through the ADAS Research and Development Center.

“Being part of SEMA Garage provides me the opportunity to combine my engineering background, project management skills and relationships to make a difference in the automotive and automotive aftermarket industry,” said Benjamin Kaminksy. “I look forward to working with SEMA manufacturer members and continuing my relationships with OEMs and tier suppliers.”

The SEMA Garage Detroit facility is scheduled to be open for members in early 2022. For more information, visit

This article was written by Della Domingo for

Nominate SEMA Person, Manufacturer, Warehouse Distributor, and Gen-III Innovator of the Year by July 23rd

DIAMOND BAR, CA (07.23.2021) – It takes dedication, hard work and drive to build and grow an automotive specialty-equipment business. Even more so to grow an entire industry.

July 23 is the deadline to submit nominations for the prestigious SEMA Industry Awards and recognize a company or person that has made a significant impact on the specialty-equipment market within the past year. Nominations are open in the following categories:

Person of the Year
Manufacturer of the Year
Warehouse Distributor of the Year
Gen-III Innovator of the Year

For consideration, an honoree must exhibit professionalism, service, integrity and ethics that help propel the industry forward. To nominate an honoree and learn more about the criteria for each award, visit or contact Lindsay Bianco at

Article written by Ashley Reyes for

Businesses Fight Against EPA Overreach

DIAMOND BAR, CA (06.21.2021) – Businesses throughout the country are taking a stand against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) claim that it is illegal to modify street vehicles and convert them into dedicated race cars. The $2 billion racing industry is pushing back by seeking passage of the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act of 2021 (H.R. 3281), a bipartisan bill which clarifies the motorsports-parts industry’s ability to sell products that enable racers to compete, and protects Americans’ right to convert street vehicles into dedicated race cars.

“The inconsistency of the EPA’s stance around converting street cars to purpose-built track vehicles has not only constrained long-term investment in the industry but it is creating added complexity/concern for our customers,” said Chris Douglas of Edelbrock Group, a company that has been manufacturing performance parts since 1938. “The RPM Act is the first step in protecting and preserving our industry for future generations—now is the time for action.”

In 2015, the EPA endangered the motorsports industry when it introduced a proposal that would have put an end to racers’ ability to modify street vehicles into dedicated race cars, a practice that has taken place for 45 years since the Clean Air Act was introduced. Although the EPA formally withdrew the proposal, the agency has since maintained that street vehicles cannot be converted into race cars—an assertion that has left the motorsports industry in a state of flux. Passage of the RPM Act will make clear that the Clean Air Act does not apply to street vehicles that have been converted into race cars used exclusively in competition, giving the industry the confidence and clarity that it needs.

As advocates for the motorsports industry, Performance Racing Industry (PRI) is also pushing for the RPM Act. “Businesses are at risk,” said Dr. Jamie Meyer, PRI president. “Racers and businesses deserve a law that clarifies that it is legal to convert a street vehicle into a dedicated race car. PRI will continue to fight to preserve what is an American tradition until the RPM Act is passed.”

Introduced by U.S. Representatives Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Raul Ruiz (D-CA), the RPM Act currently has the support of 65 cosponsors, including 19 Democrats and 46 Republicans. Dedicated race cars, which represent 0.07% of vehicles in operation, are trailered to and from the racetrack and have little effect on the environment. Yet for thousands of amateur racers, starting with a street-legal vehicle and using race products to convert it into a dedicated race car is the only affordable way to get into the sport. In order to protect racers and ensure that racers can continue to legally modify their vehicles into race cars, the RPM Act—which was introduced to Congress last month—must be passed into law.

“Many of our customers and employees are avid racers who build dedicated vehicles for competition,” says Al Noe, Summit Racing Equipment’s chief marketing officer. “Our customers trust us to deliver the parts they need so they are ready to race; they can also trust us to fight for their right to build and race these vehicles. The RPM Act is vital to ensuring a vibrant future for motorsports and our industry as a whole.”

The RPM Act was first introduced as a bill in 2016. Over the years, it received strong legislative support, and although versions of the bill have passed the House Energy & Commerce Committee, it was never fully voted on before the end of any Congressional year. Because the bill has already been subject to committee hearings before the House and the Senate, the 2021 RPM Act is well positioned to become law this legislative year.

The racing community is urged to continue to voice support for the bill by visiting

This article was written by Juan Torres for

Registration Now Open for SEMA Battle of the Builders

DIAMOND BAR, CA (06.11.2021) – Applications are now available for SEMA Battle of the Builders, the coveted competition that unites and recognizes SEMA Show vehicle builders. Open exclusively to those with a car or truck displayed at the annual trade show taking place in November, the competition celebrates and honors top builders for reaching what many consider to be the pinnacle of automotive events. The competition, now in its eighth year, tells the stories behind the builds, and it provides builders with additional exposure and a chance to be recognized and named as the industry’s top builder.

With vehicle space available only to qualified exhibitors, SEMA Show vehicle builders represent an elite group of individuals who have the distinction of superior craftsmanship and proven excellence. Exhibitors are highly selective on the vehicles and builders they choose to showcase their products, capture attention, and drive traffic to their booths.

Registration for SEMA Battle of the Builders, the coveted competition that unites and recognizes SEMA Show vehicle builders, is now open at

“Exhibitors rely on vehicles at the SEMA Show to optimally showcase their products in use and generate buzz,” said Tom Gattuso, SEMA vice president of events. “When an exhibitor chooses to showcase a vehicle, whether it’s in their booth or elsewhere in the Show, that exhibitor is investing in the build and the builder. They’re choosing the best builders to represent their brands and tell their stories.”

The SEMA Battle of the Builders competition will award one winner in four different categories—Hot Rod, Truck/Off-Road, Import/Sport Compact, and Young Guns—before crowning an overall top builder during SEMA Ignited, the official SEMA Show after-party that takes place on Friday after the weeklong trade show ends.

Click here for the online application

As part of SEMA’s initiative to support and encourage the younger generation in the industry, the association will continue its SEMA Young Guns Regional Qualifiers. Applications for the Young Guns Regional Qualifiers are also available online, making the program open to builders who may not already have a vehicle displayed at the SEMA Show, provided they are 27 years and younger. Young Guns Regional Qualifier winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the 2021 SEMA Show, transportation of the winner’s vehicle, a designated feature vehicle spot at the Show, and entry into the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition, where they will compete alongside established vehicle builders from the industry.

“Each year, we meet amazing young builders through the Young Guns Program,” said Gattuso. “It’s inspiring to witness the passion they have for all things car-related, and to see the industry embrace them as they build a network of contacts and connections that will fuel a lifelong career.”

To register, or for more information on the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition, log on to The deadline to register is October 15.

Recently Released On-Demand Virtual Education for Aftermarket Professionals

DIAMOND BAR, CA (06.08.2021) – Available when you need them, where you need them; SEMA’s On-Demand Virtual Education library includes dozens of recorded sessions that SEMA members can access anytime, anywhere.

Below are newly added and popular recordings that are available. For a complete list of sessions and registration information for upcoming webinars, visit

SEMA Industry Insight Series
The Growing Diversity of the Light Truck-Market, Powered by TORA
Truck and off-road professionals will be able to make more informed, strategic business decisions using new research on the vehicle landscape and trends facing the market for pickups, SUVs, CUVs and vans. Find out where sales are shifting toward and how this may impact aftermarket sales.

Team Management Series, Powered by SBN
Reducing Micromanagement and Increasing Employee Self Sufficiency
Learn about the dangers of micromanagement and how to increase employee self-sufficiency. During this webinar, Allison Harding from Vintage Air is joined by one of her personal mentors, Christine Ashmore from Morgan Stanley, as she shares tips for improving efficiency and productivity within work departments.

Wheel and Tire Industry Insights, Powered by WTC
Preparing for National Tire Safety Week
National Tire Safety Week, a consumer tire safety awareness campaign by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), will take place June 28–July 4. Listen in as experts share important information that tire companies can use to participate in the campaign, prepare their staff and marketing in advance, and educate consumers on proper tire care and maintenance.

Track: Industry Segments, powered by SEMA Councils and Networks
More Than Just Jeeping: Other Ways People Go Off-Road
While Jeeps continue to dominate the off-road market, the growing popularity of overlanding and related outdoor activities represents a huge opportunity for companies to expand their selection and grow their businesses. Learn about the evolving landscape of the off-road market, the different ways people are going off road, and what related products businesses may want to consider.

For a complete list of sessions and registration information for upcoming webinars, visit

New ADAS Webinar Series for All Aftermarket Parts Manufacturers and Installers

DIAMOND BAR, CA (06.02.2021) – SEMA members that manufacture or install products for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)-equipped vehicles are invited to join the SEMA Garage as they kick off a new three-part ADAS webinar series.

Ideal for businesses who manufacturer or install parts that alter a vehicles body, suspension, or wheels and tires, the series will cover ADAS technology, resources, and case studies, information on how ADAS systems work and how they are affected by various vehicle modifications or repairs.

During Part 1 “ADAS Technologies: Real-World Systems & Trends,” taking place June 16, at 11:00 a.m. (PDT), attendees will hear and learn from top industry experts as they provide a high-level look at current ADAS systems’ function, technology and trends.

Register for Part 1 – ADAS Technologies: Real-World Systems & Trends.

This article was written by Ashley Reyes for

SEMA News 35 Under 35: One Week Left to Submit Nominations

DIAMOND BAR, CA (05.24.2021) – The September 2021 issue of SEMA News will highlight rising stars in the automotive aftermarket industry who are age 35 and younger. If you know a leader in that age range as of September 1, 2021—whether they are in manufacturing and design, marketing, retail, events and media, or distribution—we would like to hear from you.

Many SEMA members are currently working with creative young professionals who are already industry trailblazers. They may have played key roles in leveraging new and emerging technologies with a traditional automotive aftermarket business to expand company reach, improve product development, energize marketing efforts or upgrade customer interaction.

They could be budding talents at an established company, entrepreneurs building their own brands or innovators who have launched companies that might become big names in the future. What they all will have in common are fresh ideas, enthusiasm, charisma and the drive to succeed.

SEMA News looks for candidates drawn from diverse industry segments who are already making a significant impact through their leadership within their organizations or businesses. Entrepreneurship, commitment, insight, innovation, integrity, responsibility, demonstrated skill, involvement and success within the marketplace weigh heavily in the decision-making process. We’ll honor the winners in the September issue of SEMA News and on

Nominate a candidate now for the 2021 SEMA News 35 Under 35. Nominations are due May 31.

PowerBass Trips to the SEMA Garage Are Very Productive

DIAMOND BAR, CA (05.19.2021) – “It’s always a great day when we can spend time at the SEMA Garage in Diamond Bar. Their location is fairly close to the PowerBass HQ in Ontario so we make the trip frequently to get hands on with new and upcoming vehicles before they hit the market. It’s a great perk for being a SEMA Manufacturer Member. The time Dave Myers and I just spent at the SEMA Garage was very productive,” Erik Harbour, PowerBass VP of Product Development & Global Marketing stated.

During sessions at the SEMA Garage PowerBass staff has an opportunity to work with site engineers and employees of OEM’s like Nissan, Ford, Toyota, GM and More.

“Time spent at the SEMA Garage was very productive as we were working to bring the PowerBass OE Direct Fit Speakers to market,” Harbour added.

“Access to the SEMA Garage was very helpful as we developed the PowerBass Direct Fit replacement speakers like the OE652-GM 6 coaxial speakers,” Harbour stated.

Each year SEMA members introduce thousands of cutting-edge tools and accessories designed to add enjoyment to vehicle ownership. While some have universal fitments, many have model-specific applications that require significantly more research and development.

The SEMA Garage gives SEMA member businesses access to the special high-tech tools and equipment they need to get their products-whether a $10. set of wiper blades or a $10,000 engine modification-off the drawing board and into customer hands. It is the only known facility of its kind in the United States.

Covering 15,000 square feet and filled with nearly $2 million of equipment, the SEMA Garage includes all the tools specialty product developers could hope for and then some, including two vehicle lifts, a portable coordinate measuring machine (CMM) for 3D scanning, a 3D printer for fast prototyping, digital race car scales for the most precise vehicle weight and measurements, a dynamometer for precise emissions measurements and  more.

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