SEMA’s Back to Basics Webinar Series Continues Wed, Aug 12

DIAMOND BAR, CA (08.10.2020) – SEMA’s “Shifting Gears: Back to Business” webinar series continues with “Cash Flow Tactics for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry” on Wednesday, August 12, at 10:00 a.m. (PDT).

Presented by SEMA Education in partnership with CPA and journalist Gene Marks, attendees will learn about the latest trends, technologies and best practices that smart business owners and leaders are implementing to manage their cash flow and build reserves to see them through to future growth.

The webinar is the second in SEMA’s four-part program that concentrates on tactics and concepts to help businesses emerge from the current economic downturn stronger and more intentional than ever.

Register today.

Details about the series and additional webinars that are scheduled through September 2, as well as resources to help SEMA members navigate their businesses during this uncertain time, are available at

Safety Requirements for 2020 SEMA Show

DIAMOND BAR, CA (07.20.2020) — SEMA Showgoers will be required to wear a face masks or a face shield during the 2020 event, as part of a proactive plan to prevent the spreading of germs and provide exhibitors and attendees with a safe environment where they will be able to conduct business. With 1,800 exhibiting companies participating in the upcoming event on Nov. 3-6, 2020, in Las Vegas, NV, the annual B2B SEMA Show will include several precautions and preventive safety measures.

Click here to view the Safety Guidelines PDF.

“Just like the world we live in today, this year’s SEMA Show will be different,” said Tom Gattuso, SEMA VP of events. “We recognize the challenges that the industry is going through, and we’ve made changes so that the industry will be able to gather and conduct business safely.”

In addition to adhering to best practices, Show organizers released the video below that outlines additional precautions that will be taken to focus on the health and well-being of those at the SEMA Show. The guidelines, which include the following, are posted at

  • Require use of face masks or face shields, frequent hand washing and social distancing
  • Designate entrance and exit areas to control and screen visitors with discrete daily health queries, incorporating non-invasive thermal cameras, etc.
  • Configure traffic flow with one-way aisles where possible
  • Install hand sanitizing stations throughout the Show, 200 feet apart
  • Enhance physical cleaning with hourly sanitizing of high traffic areas throughout the Show floor and common areas, including doorways, elevators, and escalators
  • Collaborate with Las Vegas Convention Center in their advancements to be among the first in the nation to pursue certification for safety measures aimed at outbreak prevention through actions such as sanitizing the facility nightly

Click here to view the Safety Guidelines PDF.

Show organizers are also working with hotel partners, the Las Vegas Convention Center, and with state and city officials in Las Vegas, NV, to ensure high safety standards and government compliance for the November event.

“As a trade event focused on doing business, the SEMA Show is unique,” said Gattuso. “We’re confident that we can successfully host an event where businesses can connect safely.”

Full details about the safety guidelines and the SEMA Show are available at

SEMA Market Report: Automotive Specialty-Equipment Market Expected to Rebound

DIAMOND BAR, CA (07.07.2020) – Even though 2020 has altered the vehicle landscape for many, the specialty-equipment market had shown impressive growth over the past 10 years with industry retail sales climbing nearly 4% to a new high of $46.2 billion in 2019, according to the new “2020 SEMA Market Report.” The report provides a comprehensive review of the automotive specialty-equipment market, market-sizing by vehicle segment, purchasing channels and trends to help SEMA-member companies make better business decisions.

SEMA estimates that with the impact of COVID-19, industry retail sales will likely be down 12% in 2020. However, most economists think that the recession hit its lowest point in mid-April, and companies within the specialty-equipment industry are optimistic about sales moving forward. By Q4 of 2020, nearly 50% of industry businesses expect their sales to be the same as or even better than 2019.

SEMA estimates that with the impact of COVID-19, industry retail sales will likely be down 12% in 2020. However, most economists think that the recession hit its lowest point in mid-April, and companies within the specialty-equipment industry are optimistic about sales moving forward.

“While this year has presented its challenges, the SEMA Market Report can help our member companies identify the key areas of interest for consumers and prepare for the growth that we expect in 2021,” said Gavin Knapp, SEMA director of Market Research. “It’s still early to predict exactly how things will play out over the next couple years, but the positive news is that as the country re-emerges from the shutdown, we can expect that sales should rise back toward previous levels.”

In-store purchases accounted for the largest share of 2019 retail sales, representing almost 60% of the total. It is highly likely that online purchases will spike in 2020 due to COVID-19, but SEMA expects that many consumers will return to in-store shopping once restrictions are loosened. Word-of-mouth and the web were important sources of ideas and information for consumers researching potential upgrades. Forty-four percent of consumers used search engines or review websites; 40% went directly to manufacturers’ own websites; and 37% sought advice or recommendations from friends or relatives.

Pickup upgrades are the largest sector of the specialty-equipment industry, accounting for 31% of 2019 retail sales, although mid-range cars, CUVs and SUVs (including the Jeep Wrangler) are also major components of the market. Fifty-nine percent of specialty-automotive consumers are under the age of 40, and younger drivers are more likely than older drivers to buy performance parts or accessories and make heavier modifications to their vehicles.

To learn more about where the opportunity is for your business and to get the latest research on market sizing, consumer profiles and 2020 industry indicators, download the report for free today.

Update from SEMA: PPP Application Deadline Extended to August 8

DIAMOND BAR, CA (07.06.2020) – The U.S. Congress passed a bill to extend the deadline for businesses to apply for Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans to August 8, 2020. The application deadline was June 30, 2020 but the program still has about $130 billion available for lending. President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has a “Find Local Lenders” page to help locate the nearest PPP lending institutions.

Lawmakers recently enacted the PPP Flexibility Act to provide companies more options on how funds are used. Highlights include:

  • Loan Amount: PPP loans equal the average of one month’s 2019 payroll multiplied by 2.5 (capped at $10 million).
  • Amount Forgiven: The SBA will forgive that portion of the loan used to cover payroll, rent payments, mortgage interest, and the cost of utilities for a fixed period-of-time.  As a result of the PPP Flexibility Act, the employer may now choose the covered period, either: (a) 8 consecutive weeks from when the loan was received, or (b) up to 24 weeks from when the loan was received or on Dec. 31, 2020, whichever comes first.
  • Use of Funds: PPP funds can be used to cover payroll, mortgage or rent payments, utilities and other specified expenses. At least 60% of the amount to be forgiven must be spent on payroll, which includes employee benefit costs for vacation, sick/parental leave, insurance premiums, retirement benefits, and state and local taxes.
  • Interest Rate and Repayment Terms: The loan interest rate is 1%. Repayments on any amount not forgiven is deferred at least 10 months after the end of the covered period, with a two-year term for loans secured before June 5 and five-year term for loans on or after that date.
  • Rehiring Workers: Employers have until December 31, 2020 to rehire workers and have their salaries count towards forgiveness.
  • Payroll Taxes: Businesses receiving a PPP loan may also defer payment of 2020 payroll taxes.
  • Forgiveness Application: The SBA has created two applications for seeking loan forgiveness, a standard form and an EZ version which requires fewer calculations and less documentation.

EZ Forgiveness Application

Standard Forgiveness Application

For more information:

Top Applicants Selected for 2020 SEMA Launch Pad Competition

DIAMOND BAR, CA (06.05.2020) – The top 15 applicants of the SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN) Launch Pad Competition have been selected and now move on to the online voting stage. Each applicant will receive a complimentary, one-year SEMA membership, as well as one professional Launch Pad video and widespread awareness of their business through SEMA communication channels.

The 15 SEMA Launch Pad semifinalists are:

  • Justin Bradshaw (REVER); Product: Mobile App
  • Joshua Carton (Curien); Product: Neuron N2
  • Johannes Crepon (PDM Automotive); Product: Data Technology
  • Roland Hence (FrontLane, Inc.); Product: Impulse–Emergency Brake Light
  • Khanjan Desai (Alchemy); Product: ExoShield
  • Luke Farley (Lynx Auto Wraps & More); Product: Lynx Auto Wraps TRD aps
  • Keith Ferry (Cerebrum Sensor Technologies); Product: Cerebrum
  • Brendan McGrath (Dyme PSI); Product: AN Hose & Fittings
  • Timur Mukhtasibov (AK Software); Product: BodyShopFlow
  • Matt Rafeld (Beachcomber Offroad, LLC); Product: Stowaway Door
  • Eric Rivera (Dirt Dynamix); Product: Truck Accessories
  • Patrick Sweeny (Blackgate Customs, Inc.); Product: KDSS Sway Bar Drop Spacer Kit
  • Brett Turnage (Brett Turnage Industries); Product: Modular Intercooler
  • Mike Unger (PICINH); Product: Tasker Tailgate
  • Brock Winberg (GTe-413 Electric Crate Motor); Product: GTe-413 Universal Plug

The public will be able to vote in the online competition beginning August 3. Five top candidates will go on to pitch their business ideas at the 2020 SEMA Show, where a panel of iconic judges select one winner to receive a prize package that includes $10,000 to be used for the benefit of their business and exhibit space at the annual SEMA Show.

“The 15 semifinalists are a great representation of the passion and innovation that can only be found in this industry,” said Nathan Ridnouer, SEMA vice president of councils and membership. “While all products are unique and valuable, we’re excited to share their ideas with the public and learn what our consumers are most interested in.”

Since 2013 the SEMA Launch Pad program has given young entrepreneurs, students, and business owners age 18-39 an opportunity to launch their products into the $44.6 billion automotive aftermarket industry. The program will teach participants new business strategies on how to develop, market, and boost their automotive products or services used by industry experts.

To learn more about SEMA Launch Pad and each of the 15 semifinalists, visit

SEMA Announces Board Election Results

DIAMOND BAR, CA (06.04.2020) – Ted Wentz III, CEO of Quadratec Inc., has been elected to the 2020-2021 SEMA Board of Directors in the Distributor / Retailer category. He will replace outgoing Board member Greg Adler of Greg Adler Motorsports, effective in July.

SEMA Board members are industry representatives who volunteer their time to lead and guide the association. They are elected by SEMA-member companies and represent the key membership categories: manufacturers, distributors/retailers, manufacturers’ rep and services.

Ted Wentz III, CEO of Quadratec Inc., has been elected to the 2020-2021 SEMA Board of Directors in the Distributor / Retailer category.

The SEMA Board of Directors for 2020-2021 will be as follows:

Board Officers
• Chairman – Tim Martin, CEO, Aftermarket Advisors
• Chairman-elect – James Lawrence, CEO Power Automedia
• Immediate Past-Chair/Secretary – Wade Kawasaki, President, Coker Group
• Treasurer – Kyle Fickler, Owner, Fickler Enterprises LLC

Board Members
• Chris Douglas – COO, COMP Performance Group
• Donnie Eatherly – President, P&E Distributors Inc.
• Dan Kahn – President, Kahn Media Inc.
• Brian Lounsberry – CEO, Motovicity Distribution
• Kim Pendergast – CEO, Magnuson Superchargers
• Kathryn Reinhardt – Senior Marketing Manager, 4WP/ Pro Comp
• Bunyan L. (Les) Rudd, CPMR – President, Bob Cook Sales
• Ted Wentz III – CEO, Quadratec Inc.
• Steve Whipple – Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Edelbrock LLC
• Melanie White – President, Hellwig Products

Outgoing Board Member
• Greg Adler – CEO, Greg Adler Motorsports

Visit for more.

SEMA Inducts Four Industry Icons into Hall of Fame

DIAMOND BAR, CA (05.20.2020) – Rich Barsamian, Jack Chisenhall, John Gaines, and Joe St.Lawrence will receive the specialty-equipment industry’s highest honor as the newest members of the SEMA Hall of Fame. The four are the latest representatives of an esteemed group of industry icons who have influenced and inspired the $44.6 billion automotive specialty-equipment industry.

Rich Barsamian has been actively volunteering and helping to improve our industry since he joined the Young Executives Network (YEN) in 1995. He has helped bring many educational programs to SEMA members and worked tirelessly as an ambassador to help other SEMA members. Over the years he has earned numerous recognitions for his continued work in our industry, including SEMA Person of the Year in 2014, and exemplifies the SEMA Hall of Fame criteria with regard to professionalism, dignity, integrity, stature and growth of the industry.

Jack Chisenhall is credited with making climate control systems accessible by founding the San Antonio company Vintage Air, and also helped create what is now the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA), among other innovations and contributions. His work made enthusiast cars more comfortable, easier to drive and that meant more miles logged behind the wheel, more money spent on modifications and more time on the road wrenching, driving, building and enjoying these cars. It was a cultural shift and a game changer.

John Gaines was an early pioneer in the automotive aftermarket warehouse distribution. His company, G&M Performance Parts was one of the first warehouse distributors in the country for the automotive aftermarket, and his distributorship was one of the first in the country to utilize a fleet of vehicles to distribute product direct to the local speed shops, truck accessory stores, car dealerships, machine shops, creating a much quicker and more streamlined process from manufacturer to end user. Gaines is credited with forward thinking early on that helped many manufacturers grow to where they are today.

Joe St.Lawrence started RTM, the industry’s first production company for auto how-to shows in the mid-1980s. He created PowerBlock, television’s first two-hour auto theme-block featuring how-to shows that introduced SEMA member products to million of viewers. His shows sparked parts buying on Monday, and gave DYIers the confidence to bolt on aftermarket parts and customize their vehicles. He introduced broad audiences to cool cars and helped change the image of the backyard mechanic into a tool-wielding expert.

For additional information about the SEMA Hall of Fame, visit

SEMA Updates Aftermarket Industry with COVID-19 Information Resources

DIAMOND BAR, CA (04.13.2020) – The health and welfare of the industry is a top priority to SEMA, so the association has taken a proactive approach to supporting SEMA members and is working with lawmakers to ensure they are educated and informed about the auto and auto parts industry and how it’s affected by COVID-19.

While some of SEMA’s more immediate events have been cancelled or postponed, the 2020 SEMA Show is set to take place as scheduled on Nov. 3-6. As the situation continues to evolve, we will monitor the landscape closely and will make decisions based on guidance from local, state, national and international health officials.

COVID-19 Resources Page
The Specialty Equipment Market Association is monitoring the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and tracking what this means for our industry. For the latest updates and resources available, click here.

Pitching In
The SEMA Garage is assisting Stratasys by providing 3D printed visors, which will attach to face shields and assist those who are working in healthcare facilities. Details here.

Status Report
Champion Oil, Impact Racing, and Racecar Engineering are among the aftermarket manufacturers that remain fully operational during the COVID-19 outbreak. Details on how other companies have been affected here.

HR Hub
Human Resources professionals can discover the latest HR news related to the Coronavirus at the SEMA HR Hub. The online resource helps industry professionals stay up-to-date on the latest policies and information on employee matters. Details here.

Data is Key
As online shopping surges due to the current economic climate, the SEMA Data Co-op is showing companies how enhanced product data can be a key component in weathering the storm. Details here.

Seeking Young Entrepreneurs
The SEMA Young Executives Network is accepting applications for the 2020 SEMA Launch Pad Program, which encourages and supports young entrepreneurs in the automotive industry. Details here.

A New Perspective
Independent retailers in the automotive aftermarket remain the most used sales channel for getting parts to consumers, according to the new SEMA Industry Perspectives Report. Details here.

New Products
SEMA Data Co-op members Holley, Klein, and CURT have released new products. See them here.

• June 24-26: SEMA Show Exhibitor Summit, Las Vegas, Nev.
• July 24: SEMA Installation Gala, Newport Beach, Calif.
• Nov. 3-6: SEMA Show, Las Vegas, Nev.

For more info, visit and

Automotive Industry Groups Seek National Approach for Defining “Essential” Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 1, 2020) — The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), in partnership with eight other automotive trade associations, urged the National Governors Association and Governors of all 50 states to standardize the definition of essential businesses and workers. The groups recommend adoption of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) March 28 directive, “Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response,” which identifies essential workers and business operations throughout the economy. DHS guidance clarifies that automotive repair, maintenance, and transportation equipment manufacturing and distribution facilities are “essential services” that are critical to ensuring the safe and ongoing operations of our nation’s transportation and logistics sector.

The organizations sending the letter represent companies that manufacture parts and supply services to help maintain the nation’s fleet of public and private vehicles during COVID-19—from cars, trucks and buses to police and emergency vehicles. The letter notes that Governors and local authorities have been making difficult decisions balancing “essential” commercial activities with “Shelter in Place” directives. It is important that states adopt the DHS Guidance, which provides a uniform national approach for protecting the country’s critical transportation and manufacturing needs.

Click here to view a PDF copy of the letter.

The letter was signed by the Auto Care Association, Automotive Oil Change Association, Automotive Service Association, California Automotive Business Coalition, Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, Specialty Equipment Market Association, Tire Industry Association, Service Station Dealers of America and Allied Trades, U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association.

Visit for more.

SEMA Student UTV Build Tours Off-Road Events

DIAMOND BAR, CA (03.04.2020) – The UTV Student Build Pilot Program, a program launched by the SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN) to connect young aftermarket professionals with aspiring automotive students, will showcase the completed 2019 Honda Talon in a multi-city tour before being auctioned off at the world’s largest collector car auction, the Mecum Auction, in November. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go towards benefiting the SEMA Scholarship Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity.

Sponsored by YEN, the customized Talon was completed by students from the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts (AXC), who throughout the course of the semester worked alongside industry mentors to produce a one-of-a-kind UTV using products donated from 16 SEMA member companies. Skills learned include project management, 3-D scanning, CAD, manufacturing, installation, fabrication, suspension, body styling, wiring, and testing.

The SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN) UTV Student Build Pilot Program will showcase the completed 2019 Honda Talon in several cities before being auctioned off at the Mecum Auction to benefit the SEMA Scholarship Fund.

“The purpose of the build was to inspire youth to become automotive hobbyists and to encourage career paths into the automotive aftermarket,” said Kirstin Stone, Chairman of the SEMA Young Executives Network. “This UTV build allowed YEN members to introduce the greater scope of the opportunities available in the aftermarket while encouraging trade skills.”

After weeks of mentorship and instruction from YEN members, the students’ labor culminated in a unique build that was displayed at the 2019 SEMA Show. The UTV will now tour at various off-road events throughout 2020, which includes The Mint 400 in Las Vegas, L.A. County Fair in Los Angeles, and the Off-Road Expo in Pomona, CA.

“SEMA is invested in the future of the automotive industry and is proud to support a program that has offered students a wide variety of professional development and training opportunities,” said Zane Clark, SEMA Director of Education. “With the proceeds being invested into the SEMA Scholarship Program, we can continue to help automotive students pay for their college tuition and SEMA members pay off their student loans.”

For more information on the UTV Student Build, visit To donate to the SEMA Scholarship Fund, visit