Unlike many sectors of the automotive aftermarket, automakers seem to be willing to share information with the performance and accessories market.
As the automotive accessories industry grows and assumes even greater importance, a record number of automakers have made commitments to participate in the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show scheduled for November 1-4, 2005, in Las Vegas.
The event will be especially significant as 14 original equipment manufacturer (OEM) brands, will join with their partners in the specialty auto parts industry. In addition to OEM vehicle displays, the participating automakers will give SEMA members unparalleled access to technical data and a hands-on look at the vehicles that provide the basis for SEMA members’ products.
“We are extremely pleased to have a significant number of OEMs participating again at this year’s show,” said Carl Sheffer, vice president of OEM Relations for SEMA. “New participants this year include Suzuki and Volkswagen. In addition to the many press conferences and other activities hosted by the OEMs, at least two new vehicle world debuts will take place at the show.”
Some of the unique business-to-business opportunities provided by this collaboration of SEMA and the OEMs include: Tech Transfer, a program initiated by SEMA by which its members are given access to confidential technical data from OEM partners in advance of public disclosure; Measuring Sessions where qualified SEMA members can take important measurements of the new vehicles that provide the platform for SEMA members’ products; and OEM Tech Talks, round table discussions where SEMA members can discuss new products and changes in current models with key OEM engineers.
The benefits of these forums for SEMA members are incalculable as this interaction further empowers them in creating and developing high-quality products for their customers – at a significant savings in time development costs – and to bring these products to market as new and exciting vehicles arrive on showroom floors.
In addition, SEMA recently announced that American Honda is increasing its support of the automotive specialty market by participating as the Vehicle Manufacturer of the 2005 SEMA Show. For many years, Honda’s popular Civic and Accord hatchbacks, coupes and sedans have provided a host of customization and performance tuning opportunities for SEMA members, with their customers eagerly snatching up the resulting products. With this in mind, Honda has chosen the 2005 SEMA Show to host its world premier of the new Civic Si, providing members with immediate access to a vehicle that will undoubtedly draw the interest of car enthusiasts all over the globe.
Other OEMs participating in the 2005 SEMA Show are DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Scion, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota and Volkswagen.
This partnership of SEMA and the OEMs also brings immeasurable publicity to SEMA members’ products, as enthusiast and even many general media outlets cover the newest and most-exciting accessories that will soon enter the market. One of the most highly publicized portions of the SEMA Show is the Project Vehicle Program, in which an OEM provides stock vehicles to SEMA member businesses. SEMA members then equip the stock vehicles with accessories that best suit the vehicle’s target buyers. For participating OEMs, the modified vehicles illustrate the design’s versatility and utility while adding flair and performance not available from their stock equipment catalogues.
“It is our intent to keep our show working well for everyone in the automobile industry,” said Sheffer. “The partnership SEMA shares with the OEMs and our member companies is one we continue to build on and see as having a bright future.”
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