A love for cars, trucks and SUVs is the motivating force behind the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), a nonprofit trade association founded in 1963. The association consists of a diverse group of manufacturers, distributors, retailers, publishing companies, auto restorers, street-rod builders, restylers, car clubs, race teams and more.
SEMA members make, buy, sell and use all kinds of specialty parts and accessories to make vehicles more attractive, more unique, more convenient, faster, safer, more fun and even like-new again.
The companies that founded SEMA were started by people who loved cars and trucks and turned their hobby into a career. Most people in the industry today still feel this way. That’s one of the things that makes SEMA and its members unique.
Today, the 46-year-old organization performs many services for its members and for the hobby as a whole. Perhaps most importantly, SEMA works hard to protect consumers’ rights to drive accessorized, customized and vintage vehicles. SEMA keeps close tabs on legislators in Washington, D.C., and also in each state within the United States, so SEMA members and anyone who loves cars and trucks can protest pending legislation that might harm our hobby, as well as endorse legislation that’s good for car lovers.
Why You Should Join SEMA
If you are involved in the aftermarket industry in any way, you should strongly consider joining SEMA. The organization offers its more than 6,500 member companies a variety of business tools and resources to help their business succeed and prosper. Whether you are a manufacturer, retailer, jobber, distributor, rep or installer, SEMA is here to help you make smarter business decisions; be more strategic and targeted with your promotions; save money through group purchases, and network with key businesses and leaders in the industry.
The Benefits of Being a SEMA Member
The member benefits of SEMA are unrivaled by any other automotive aftermarket association. Let’s take a look at the vast array of benefits:
Business Resources & Solutions
SEMA offers a number of cost-saving benefits that can directly impact your company today. Whether you are in need of a freight consolidator, custom insurance solutions, lead generation tools or consumer credit options, SEMA has a service provider that will work with you to reduce your costs.
- The SEMA Membership Directory – the “ultimate sourcebook” for all members to connect and establish partnerships with other leading companies in the industry.
- UPS Discounts on Package and Freight Shipping – UPS offers special discounts and services for SEMA members. From freight and package shipping through financial and eCommerce solutions, the UPS worldwide network helps businesses grow quickly, efficiently and globally.
- Business Insurance Solutions Program – As the endorsed insurance broker for members of the SEMA, SEIA delivers insurance solutions that not only protect your business, but save you money.
- Consumer Credit Card Program (CarCareONE) – Increase traffic and transaction size with GE Capital’s exclusive member-only consumer financing program.
- First Data (Credit Card Processing) – Fast, convenient, and secure payment solutions.
- SEMA Pay Per Buyer Program – An online auto parts consumer comparison shopping network of over 60 different websites and forums that draw over 4-million visitors monthly.
- Industry Classified Ad Postings/Listings – The Classifieds section of the SEMA.org website receives thousands of visitors each month. As a SEMA member, you are able to post your ads for jobs, list resumes or sell something, anything, for free.
Councils & Networks
A SEMA council represents a group of members that share a common business purpose or market segment. The group should be able to identify common business goals, issues and challenges that require a special focus by the association. Existing councils are:
- Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO)
- Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN)
- Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA)
- Light-Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA)
- Manufactures Representative Network (MRN)
- Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Councils (MPMC)
- Professional Restylers Organization (PRO)
- Wheel & Tire Council (WTC)
- SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN)
- Young Executive Network (YEN)
SEMA Research & Information
Ongoing research reports available exclusively to SEMA members, including:
- Annual Market Study
- Light Truck Reports
- Trends and Forecast Reports
- Compact Performance Reports
- Consumer Demand Index/PADI
- Financial Benchmarking Program
- International Research
- Industry Focused Reports
Educational & Training Programs
SEMA members enjoy access to several education and training programs, including:
- SEMA Show Education Days – Education program at the SEMA Show consists of more than 50 seminars over the four-day tradeshow.
- Webinars – SEMA webinar series provides members with the information in brief, one-hour programs. With on-demand information, they can access a range of topics from the SEMA archived webinars or tune into the live broadcasts with an interactive Q & A session with the featured industry presenter.
- SEMA Education Institute (SEI) – Online Learning Center
- Scholarships & Loan Forgiveness – SEMA maintains a program to pay part of the college tuition costs of today’s top students or contribute toward member employees’ student loans.
- SEMA Show Student Program
- Live seminars – national, regional and local conferences hosted or sponsored by SEMA.
World-Class Trade Shows
SEMA members have the ability to participate in these global events:
- SEMA Show
- PAACE Automechanika and Salon de SEMA
- MPMC Media Trade Conference
The SEMA International Relations Programs provide comprehensive services to help automotive specialty-equipment companies expand world-wide:
- International Programs
- International Market Reports
- International Buyers’ Guide
- Consumer Affairs & Public Relations
- International Support at Domestic Shows
OEM Relations & Programs
SEMA members have access to these OEM programs:
- Hands-on access to new vehicles (Measuring Sessions)
- OEM-provided CAD/CAM drawings (Technology Transfer) (Eligibility requirements apply)
SEMA has a proven legislative and regulatory program led by a professional staff based in Washington, D.C. that continually works on behalf of the membership:
- Government Advocacy/Legislative Programs
- Professional lobbying staff (Federal & State)
- Legislative alerts and comprehensive website
- Grass-root Enthusiast Support/SEMA Action Network (SAN)
- Driving Force Newsletter
- Political Action Committee (PAC)
- Quarterly PAC Newsletter
The association keeps its members informed of industry news, events and happenings:
- Monthly Trade Magazine, SEMA News
- Weekly Electronic Newsletter, SEMA eNews
- Comprehensive Websites
After reading the lengthy list of member benefits, there should be no doubt in your mind as the whether or not joining SEMA would be beneficial to your company or organization. You can find out more on the SEMA website at www.sema.org.