The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) recently opened phase two of its automotive innovation facility in Southern California, according to a press release.
Located at SEMA headquarters near Los Angeles, the SEMA Garage gives more than 6,000 businesses targeting the automotive aftermarket in California and across the country access to the special high-tech tools and equipment they need to get their products — whether a $10 set of replacement wiper blades or a $10,000 engine modification — off the drawing board and into customer hands.
Covering 15,000 square feet and filled with nearly $2 million of equipment, the SEMA Garage now includes the tools need by specialty product developers, 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 measurements, and a dynamometer for power output measurements.
The SEMA Garage also offers a fully certified Executive Order (EO) aftermarket part certification lab. Any company wishing to sell aftermarket powertrain parts in the very lucrative California market must get an EO certification. Working in conjunction with the Auto Club, SEMA is able to provide its members with this valuable, low-cost resource for testing and obtaining such certifications.
This temperature-controlled test cell can simulate winter in the mountains, summer in the desert or anything in between. Testing meets all federal EPA and California Air Resources Boards (CARB) standards. Capabilities include emissions, fuel economy, acceleration, brake stopping distance, interior/exterior noise levels and handling.
“SEMA is in a unique position to provide members with a reliable and affordable way to develop and test their products, thereby helping them get their products to market quickly,” said Mike Spagnola, SEMA VP of the Product Development Center. “We’re excited to expand on the capabilities of the SEMA Garage and look forward to putting them to good use.”
The SEMA Garage originally opened May 9 when the aftermarket part certification lab was first made available to members. The latest expansion marks the second phase of the organization’s ongoing effort to better serve the industry. In the coming months, a suite of marketing support tools will be added to complete the three-phase opening, in the form of a media center complete with a photo cove, photography center and media coordination services.
Bringing 30 years of specialty parts aftermarket experience to the table, Jon Wyly has been hired to launch and manage the new Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Data Cooperative.
“We are pleased and excited to have Jon taking the lead as we roll out this key industry initiative,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. “Jon brings a unique mix to the table, combining broad experience in the specialty parts arena with exceptional insight when it comes to data management applications that will be needed in the future.”
Wyly’s career spans 30 years and has included key roles in sales, marketing, e-commerce, business technology and data management. A lifelong automotive enthusiast, he is well known to the specialty parts industry, having co-founded the SEMA Business Technology Committee and having served six years on the SEMA board. His background includes 25 years at Arrow Speed Warehouse, ending as executive vice president, and more recently as VP of e-Commerce at Keystone Automotive Operations, Inc. He was named SEMA Person of the Year in 2005.
Wyly’s immediate priorities will include launching a “beta” phase of the Data Co-op, which will precede a full-scale rollout. The SEMA board has identified the Data Co-op as a critical strategic issue, and has authorized funding to support the infrastructure necessary to accommodate the system.
“Our ability to get information about the industry’s products to more data users—more WDs, more jobber-retailers, more auto parts stores—is the key to expanding our total market,” said Kersting. “Better data means more sales. You’ve got to have clean, standardized product information easily available to the channel partners.”
SEMA is also collaborating with leading aftermarket associations on data standards, and with the hard-parts industry’s OptiCat data repository, so that complete product information for both specialty and hard parts can be accessed from either system.
Registration is open to manufacturers for the Third Annual SEMA Show Exhibitor Education Summit taking place April 2-4 in Las Vegas, according to a press release.
Presented by show staff who understand first-hand how to best navigate the SEMA Show, the Exhibitor Education Summit is an intensive program designed to connect exhibitors with key individuals and provide participants with up-to-the-minute insights into the show. To register click here.
“We have a wide range of resources available for exhibitors to improve their performance at the Show,” said Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of events and communications. “The Exhibitor Educational Summit is the best time for exhibitors to learn about the many resources that are available. By hosting exhibitors in Las Vegas, there are no distractions or interruptions. Exhibitors gain a clear understanding of how the programs work and get the answers they need.”
During the summit, exhibitors participate in sessions ranging from how to save on material handling, using social media to expand market reach, creating a plan and budget to add value, exploring sponsorship opportunities and more. Participants also are able to sit down in one-on-one sessions where show experts evaluate and analyze the exhibitor’s unique needs to help reduce expenses, and they are able to tour the convention center.
SEMA and its hotel partners are offering a limited number of hotel rooms for the summit at no cost to participants. All meals at the summit will be provided as well. Participants will be responsible for travel to and from Las Vegas and incidental hotel charges (phone, room service, etc.). For more information visit www.semashow.com/exhibitor-summit, or can be obtained from Casie Stock at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-450-7662, ext. 109.