Automotive Entrepreneurs: Win a Business-Launching Prize Package

DIAMOND BAR, CA (06.01.22) – Emerging entrepreneurs and innovators of new automotive products are invited to enter their companies and brand-new inventions into the 2022 SEMA Launch Pad competition at www.sema.org/launchpad.

SEMA Launch Pad is the premier product-pitching competition for budding entrepreneurs in the automotive aftermarket industry. Through the program, selected applicants are hand-picked to receive brand exposure, access to business resources, and the chance to win a grand-prize package valued at $92,000 to launch their product or service into the marketplace.

“The automotive aftermarket is comprised of countless entrepreneurs who are extremely passionate about creating new products and providing solutions for enthusiastic car owners who love to modify, maintain, restore, or personalize their vehicles,” said RJ de Vera, SEMA vice president of marketing. “SEMA Launch Pad helps bring these emerging inventors to the forefront, providing a platform for them to potentially take their new creations to the next level.”

Fifteen semi-finalists will be selected in June to participate in the first round of pitching and be invited to exhibit at the 2022 SEMA Show in Las Vegas in November. The top five finalists will pitch their products to a panel of industry judges during the SEMA Show, where a final winner will be selected.

SEMA Launch Pad is open to business owners or company-leading executives (president, CEO, CFO, COO or vice president) over the age of 18. Applicants must offer a product or service that is a functioning prototype, functioning concept or currently for sale.

Applications to participate in SEMA Launch Pad must be submitted online at www.sema.org/launchpad by June 13, 2022.

A Visit to Santa Ynez Valley HS in CA for SEMA High School Vehicle Build

SANTA YNEZ, CA (05.31.22) – Ramsey Consulting, with Todd Ramsey leading the way, visited Santa Ynez Valley Union High School (one of the schools in the SEMA HSVB program) on Friday May, 27th. “We met up with Gary Semerdjian, the automotive instructor, on their Toyota 4Runner build project, talked to students and presented some of the career path options in automotive for those students interested in that direction” Ramsey stated.

Gary Semerdjian, Greg Bunch and Todd Ramsey (L to R) give a big group thumbs up as they met Friday morning prior to meeting with the auto shop class members.

Continuing, Ramsey related, “I brought with me two other professionals who are also in the automotive aftermarket business. Greg Bunch, who owns six independent automotive repair shops in the Colorado Springs, CO area (Aspen Auto Clinic), was on the visit. He and I grew up together in Camarillo, CA where we both first got into cars. Also Armando “Mondo” Roland, who owns a car audio shop (Atlas Custom Sound) located just north in Santa Maria, CA, joined us. These two businessmen spoke directly to the needs of independent businesses looking to hire motivated and qualified individuals in their growing businesses. The session turned out very nicely. Greg’s spoke to a group of over 2 dozen auto shop class members. It was perfect for Gary’s automotive class at the school.”

Greg Bunch addressing the auto shop audience of over 20 students.

Ramsey concluded, “The fact that Mondo came in as a car audio retailer was sort of similar to when Ed Nuttall came in to my visit to the Mon Valley CTC class south of Pittsburgh. Mondo actually helped Gary with a couple electrical wiring and audio install-related tips as the schools 4Runner gets closer to its mid-September finish line. All in all, we had a very productive visit with Gary and his shop class at the Santa Ynez Valley High School.”

The Mon Valley CTC sent this Thank You to the SEMA HSVB team after Todd Ramsey’s recent visit to the school south of Pittsburgh. Ed Nuttall, Team Nutz retailer, accompanied Ramsey on the Mon Valley High School visit.

Ramsey’s firm provides services to SEMA and orchestrates visibility for the SEMA HSVB initiative.

Visit aspenautoclinic.com, ramseyconsultinggroup.com, atlascustomsound.com, and sema.org for more.

2022 SEMA Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

DIAMOND BAR, CA (05.20.22) – Three industry legends will be inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame: Walker Evans, Jack Roush, and Robert Eugene “Gene” Winfield.

Created in 1969, SEMA Hall of Fame honors are bestowed on trailblazers who have significantly impacted and enhanced the growth of the automotive industry. Its members are considered heroes, and each individual has a unique story to tell. The industry is invited to join in honoring the new SEMA Hall of Fame members during the 2022 SEMA Awards Gala (previously known as the SEMA Installation Gala), on July 29 in Anaheim, Calif. A brief recap of this year’s inductees is as follows:

Walker Evans: Walker Evans began off-road racing in 1969 and became the first off-road racer to win the Baja 1000 as a driver of a full-sized truck in 1979. Over the course of his career, he has won more than 150 off-road desert and short course races, including championships in the Baja 500, Baja 1000, Fireworks 250, Mint 400, and Parker 400. Beyond racing, Evans is a pioneer in the off-road market, having collaborated closely with automakers such as Ford, Chevrolet, and Dodge; worked with major tire manufacturers and suppliers; developed purpose-built products to meet off-road racers’ needs; and paved the way for new opportunities and growth. In 2004, Evans joined SEMA as a delegate on a visit to China to develop new business opportunities and partnerships for the industry. Evans is a role model who inspires young members to deal with emerging technologies and intense legislation, and promotes innovation and creativity in sustaining SEMA, as well as the racing and high-performance industries.

Jack Roush: For more than 40 years, Jack Roush has been committed to winning on and off the race track. Early in his career, he founded Roush & Gapp — a race team he formed with Wayne Gapp that won multiple championships in NHRA, IHRA, and AHRA Pro Stock drag racing. Later, he established Jack Roush Performance Engineering and began supplying racing engines and components for drag, oval-track, and hill-climb cars as well as for offshore power boat contenders. In 1984, Roush was commissioned by the Ford Motor Co. to develop cars and engines for the SCCA Trans-Am and IMSA Camel GT racing series. Roush further expanded his Roush Racing operations in 1988, before establishing Roush Fenway Racing in 2007. The team has claimed two NASCAR Cup Championships, four NASCAR Xfinity championships, and one NASCAR Truck Series title. Roush also made major safety contributions to stock car racing, including the development of roof flaps to prevent rollovers. In addition to his racing successes, Roush is founder and chairman of Roush Enterprises, a global supplier of product development services, including design, engineering, prototyping, testing, and manufacturing; he oversees Roush Performance Products, a supplier of aftermarket performance parts; and he manages Roush CleanTech, a manufacturer of alternative fuel systems.

Robert Eugene “Gene” Winfield: Robert Eugene “Gene” Winfield is an American automotive customizer and fabricator who has been involved in the industry for over 70 years. He started building hot rods in the backyard of his mother’s house in the 1940s, and came to national prominence in 1959 with a stunning quad-headlight take on a 1956 Mercury two-door hardtop immortalized as the Jade Idol. Besides fashioning his own unique brand of customs, Winfield became famous for inventing the fade paint job. Winfield also played a key role in promoting custom car modifications to the general public by supplying modified cars for movies and TV shows, including a vehicle in the iconic 1982 film Blade Runner. No fewer than three Winfield creations have won the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award, which is the Best Picture Oscar of the hot-rod world. Revered as “The King Of Kustoms”, Winfield was featured in the first DVD in a series called The Kings Of Kustoms – a documentary highlighting car customizers.

In addition to formally introducing Evans, Roush, and Winfield as SEMA Hall of Fame members during the 2022 SEMA Awards Gala, the annual event on July 29 will include recognitions of the newly elected and the outgoing SEMA Board members. All SEMA members and industry professionals are invited to join the celebration by purchasing tickets at www.sema.org/gala.

SEMA Ignited Is Back for 2022

DIAMOND BAR, CA (05.11.22) – SEMA Ignited, the only official SEMA Show after-party, will be held Friday, November 4, 2022, from 3:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. in the West Hall parking lot of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Credentialed 2022 SEMA Show attendees can access the event for free with their badge. Enthusiasts may purchase tickets at www.semaignited.com beginning June 3, 2022.

Tickets available for purchase will include $20 “Standing Room Access” to SEMA Ignited. These ticket holders are able to meet with exhibiting companies and have a great view of the SEMA Cruise as well as all the drifting performances. You can also reserve your bleacher seat at the event and purchase your “Reserved Seating” ticket for $50. The limited reserved seating tickets allow you the opportunity to visit exhibiting companies, stop at one of the many food trucks for a bite to eat or just grab a drink without the concern of losing your seat.

Enthusiasts also have the opportunity to purchase the SEMA Ignited, Friday Experience badge allowing FRIDAY-ONLY access to the 2022 SEMA Show as well as standing room access to SEMA Ignited for $60, if purchased prior to September 30. After this date, SEMA Ignited, Friday Experience tickets will cost $90.

Friday Experience badge pick up will be located in the West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center in the Friday Experience Registration area. Friday Experience Registration hours are Friday, November 4, between 7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. SEMA Show hours on Friday, November 4, are 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Important Restrictions: Each person registered for the SEMA Friday Experience must pick up their badge with their purchase confirmation bar code and photo ID. NO EXCEPTIONS. You do not need to qualify to purchase and you MUST be at least 16 years or older to purchase and attend the Show.

For more information about Friday Experience or SEMA Ignited, contact info@semaignited.com.

Visit semaignited.com for more.

SEMA Provides Chance of a Lifetime for Businesses to Reach New Heights with Launch Pad Competition

DIAMOND BAR, CA (05.05.22) – Emerging entrepreneurs and innovators of new automotive products are invited to enter their companies and brand-new inventions into the 2022 SEMA Launch Pad competition at www.sema.org/launchpad.

SEMA Launch Pad is the premier product-pitching competition for budding entrepreneurs in the automotive aftermarket industry. Through the program, selected applicants are hand-picked to receive brand exposure, access to business resources, and the chance to win a grand-prize package valued at $92,000 to launch their product or service into the marketplace.

Dustin Woolf won the 2021 Launch Pad competition for his product Natural Nitrous, a standalone mechanical intake cooling system.

“The automotive aftermarket is comprised of countless entrepreneurs who are extremely passionate about creating new products and providing solutions for enthusiastic car owners who love to modify, maintain, restore, or personalize their vehicles,” said RJ de Vera, SEMA Vice President of Marketing. “SEMA Launch Pad helps bring these emerging inventors to the forefront, providing a platform for them to potentially take their new creations to the next level.”

Fifteen semi-finalists will be selected in June to participate in the first round of pitching and be invited to exhibit at the 2022 SEMA Show in Las Vegas in November. The top five finalists will pitch their products to a panel of industry judges during the SEMA Show, where a final winner will be selected.

Jeep Beach wrapped with a beach cruise on Sunday morning, May 1st.

SEMA Launch Pad is open to business owners or company-leading executives (president, CEO, CFO, COO, or VP) over the age of 18. Applicants must offer a product or service that is a functioning prototype, functioning concept, or currently for sale.

Applications to participate in SEMA Launch Pad must be submitted online at www.sema.org/launchpad by June 13, 2022.

Automotive Specialty-Equipment Sales Surpass Pre-Pandemic Levels

DIAMOND BAR, CA (04.22.22) – The specialty-equipment industry continues to experience strong growth and demand as the U.S. puts COVID-19 in the rearview mirror. According to the new “State of the Industry–Spring 2022” report from the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), 75% of manufacturers, 68% of distributors, and 53% of retailers/installers report that sales are currently above where they were prior to the pandemic, and consumer demand continues to remain robust for most companies.

However, despite strong industry growth, concerns remain due to ongoing supply chain issues, inflation, economic uncertainty, and the war in Ukraine.

The report, which includes 70 pages of new industry data, helps companies make better business decisions by highlighting current industry trends, business metrics, and estimates on how sales have changed over the last year, and it highlights the ongoing supply chain disruptions many organizations are being challenged with. It also provides a pulse check on consumers as they navigate economic uncertainty and deal with significant price increases on many of the products and services that they buy.

Additional key findings from the report include:

  • More than half of companies expect sales to continue to grow in the coming year.
  • Supply chain issues remain a challenge for over 90% of the industry, and most don’t see things returning to normal until at least 2023.
  • The current inflation rate of 8.5% is the highest it has been in 40 years, yet consumers continue to spend.
  • Despite gas prices being up over 40% on average from where they were last year, 80% of Americans still plan to take a road trip this summer.
  • Amid record consumer demand, 70% of manufacturers, 56% of distributors, and 45% of retail installers have had difficulty filling open positions due to a shortage of qualified applicants to hire.

The complete “State of the Industry—Spring 2022” report is available to download for free at www.sema.org/research.

SEMA: Are EVs Really Zero Emissions? Find Out on April 20

DIAMOND BAR, CA (04.15.22) – As the popularity of electric vehicles grows, experts are taking a closer look at the true environmental impact these cars have—from production to operation to disposal. Manufacturers of both alternative-fuel vehicles and traditional internal-combustion engine (ICE) vehicles are evaluating the net-zero impact and what the future looks like.

Join Dr. Robert Freerks, consultant in fuels and lubricants at RLF Enterprises, April 20, at 11:00 a.m. (PDT), as he compares EVs to conventional ICE vehicles and explores the readiness of the U.S. electric grid to support widespread adoption of EV use throughout the country.

In just one hour, you will learn about the following:

  • Equivalent emissions of an EV based on energy production mix across the United States.
  • Environmental impact of EV and battery production.
  • Ability of the current electric grid to support widespread EV adoption.

Click here to register

Visit sema.org for more.

This article was written by Ashley Reyes for sema.org

SEMA Collaborates with Ford’s Bronco Brand on All-Female

DIAMOND BAR, CA (03.30.22) – The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) is kicking off an all-female vehicle build and will modify a Ford Bronco 4-door Wildtrak provided by Bronco Brand, Ford’s outdoor brand of Built Wild and only-4×4 vehicles. The project comes 10 years after SBN led an award-winning all-female Ford Mustang Build, which raised awareness of women working in the automotive industry and brought in dozens of new SBN members.

The new campaign seeks to highlight successful women in the automotive industry while also attracting and supporting more females to pursue careers in the field.

The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network will embark on an all-female vehicle build in partnership with Ford’s Bronco Brand, which donated the 4-door Ford Bronco Wildtrak.

“We know that automobiles are exciting and that there are countless job opportunities for women in the industry,” said Sara Morosan, SBN Chair Elect. “The 2022 SBN All-Female Vehicle Build will again shine the light on this important initiative and help women see what’s possible.”

The project is slated to begin this summer in Southern California. Women will modify all aspects of the car, including the engine, chassis, drive-train, interior, sound system, exterior, and paint. Organizers are currently securing members to assist with assembling a Volunteer Recruitment Team, Events Team, Media/Content Team, Secure Parts & Sponsorship, and other committees.

Interested volunteers can sign up here

The completed vehicle build will be displayed at the 2022 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. For more information, visit www.sema.org/sbn or contact Nicole Bradle at nicoleb@sema.org.

SEMA Garage Measuring Session to Feature All-Electric ’22 Ford F-150 Lightning Measuring Session

DIAMOND BAR, CA (03.28.22) – In partnership with Ford Motor Company, the SEMA Garage will host a Measuring Session for the all-electric ’22 Ford F-150 Lightning. The event will allow SEMA members to have a close-up experience with Ford’s first ever all-electric F-Series truck.

New F-150 Lightning features will include:

  • SuperCrew Four-Door Cab
  • Four-Wheel Drive
  • 5.5-Foot Cargo Bed
  • Extended-Range Battery Option
  • Standard Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0 Technology (ADAS)

This will be an in-person event at the SEMA Garage in Diamond Bar, California. In order to comply with state and local health guidelines, this event will require scheduled appointments. Due to high demand, all appointments will be time limited.

Event Dates: April 11–April 15

Details and registration for the SEMA Garage ’22 Ford F-150 Lightning Measuring Session.

SEMA Board of Directors Election Candidates Announced for 2022-23

DIAMOND BAR, CA (03.22.22) – The following candidates are vying for a seat on the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Board of Directors:

Manufacturer – (3) Open Seats
Brian Herron, Opus IVS
John Torvinen, Performance Assembly Solutions
Kathryn Reinhardt (Incumbent), 4WP Factory/Pro Comp/Rubicon Express/Smittybilt
Marcus Umlauff, Toyota Motor North America
Melanie White (Incumbent), Hellwig Products
Norris Marshall, Marshall Engines/BluePrint Engines

Manufacturers Rep – (1) Open Seat
Mark Taylor, KAM Marketing
Richard Butler, R&R Marketing Consultants

Voting will take place online May 10-19, 2022, and is open to current SEMA-member companies. Votes must be cast by each company’s primary contact. Details on the upcoming election will be sent to the member company’s designated primary contact beginning Friday, April 29. Winners will be announced by June 1.

Visit sema.org for more.