SEMA Opens Phase Two of SoCal Innovation Facility to Serve $31 Billion Auto Accessory Market - Engine Builder Magazine

SEMA Opens Phase Two of SoCal Innovation Facility to Serve $31 Billion Auto Accessory Market

The SEMA Garage is a one-of-a-kind, 15,000-square-foot facility featuring high-tech labs, tools and equipment.

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), the organization representing the $31 billion specialty automotive industry, opened phase two of its automotive innovation facility in Southern California, in conjunction with Collector Car Appreciation Day on June 12.

Located at SEMA headquarters near Los Angeles, the SEMA Garage gives more than 6,000 businesses 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 customers’ hands. It is the only known facility of its kind in the U.S., according to SEMA.

Covering 15,000 square feet and filled with nearly $2 million of equipment, the SEMA Garage now includes all the tools specialty product developers could hope for and then some, including two vehicle lifts, a portable coordinate measuring machine (CMM) for 3-D scanning, a 3-D printer for fast prototyping, digital race car scales for the most precise vehicle weight measurements, a dynamometer for power output measurements and more.

The association points out that by far the most valuable asset in the SEMA Garage is 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 opened May 9 when the aftermarket-part certification lab was first made available to members. This most recent 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.

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