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Jan. 19, 2009 – Aftermarket officials to discuss possible SEMA group

January 23, 2009
Filed under Features

Members of the motorcycle aftermarket industry are set to meet at the upcoming V-Twin Expo in Cincinnati to discuss whether a second trade association is needed to address key legislative and regulatory issues.
The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) currently has an American V-twin Committee that has tackled emissions and other federal regulations relating to the aftermarket industry.
Keith Ball, president of Bikernet.com, and other officials from the aftermarket industry have discussed forming a new industry committee with the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), a nearly 40-year-old trade organization that consists of distributors, manufacturers and retailers from the auto industry.
“This is just an effort to get more guys involved in the legislative process from our aftermarket to support motorcycle rights groups,” Ball said. “And in some respects, the MIC can and can’t do that.”
The chairman of the MIC V-twin committee, Ted Sands of Performance Machine, however, does not support the creation of a second committee. Sands says he doesn’t believe the aftermarket industry’s biggest companies, those who support the MIC committee, will be interested in financing a second such committee.
“My personal view, and the view of a lot of other people in the industry, is we don’t really want to be involved in SEMA,” Sands said. “It’s an automotive organization and I think there is some really good things that they have done to help promote and protect aftermarket business on the automotive side. But I don’t really see them bringing a lot more to the party than what we can accomplish with the V-twin Committee specifically for the V-twin industry.”
Members from the MIC and SEMA as well as aftermarket industry officials are expected to meet and discuss the creation of a SEMA committee at the V-Twin Expo in Cincinnati on Sunday, Feb. 8, at 9 a.m. in room 251 at the expo.
The meeting is an attempt to gauge the interest among aftermarket officials of creating and participating in a SEMA committee, Ball says.
“I’m not trying to do this to be against the MIC,” he said, noting the V-twin Committee has made significant progress on emissions issues that are affecting the aftermarket. “I’m trying to do this to support the motorcycle aftermarket industry and I think SEMA brings a lot to the plate.”
SEMA, according to its Web site, has been active in Washington, D.C., on issues that impact the auto aftermarket. The trade association also annually hosts a huge trade show in Las Vegas. Ball and other members of the motorcycle aftermarket met with SEMA officials at the most recent trade show to discuss a possible motorcycle industry committee. Ball said the group came away excited with the prospects of being able to utilize the trade group’s resources.
Sands, however, just doesn’t believe the industry will support a second committee.
“I know all the work that it’s taken already just for the (MIC) V-twin Committee to get up and running with the infrastructure and the support and the finances from the MIC and I just don’t see that happening with SEMA,” he said.

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