Since both CIC and SCRS voted again to support and sponsor SEMA, rather than NACE, which will be exhibiting in New Orleans instead of Las Vegas, the collision section of the show now includes 150 exhibitors in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. CAA will also have a booth. Both SCRS and I-Car will be providing training seminars and programs throughout the week. Tom suggested a special focus on 2,000 new products that will be exhibited at the show this year. He suggested attending the New Products Breakfast Tuesday morning, Oct. 30 at 7:30 a.m. Industry experts will serve as judges and give an Innovation Award.
Tom emphasized having a pre-show, during-the-show, and post-show plan to maximize an attendee's benefits. The www.semashow.com website provides a complete floor plan and one can search by product, category and company. CAA chapter president Linda Holcomb suggested that no one could possibly cover the entire show in five days, so a good pre-plan is really necessary — plus a comfortable pair of shoes or rent a scooter.
During the show, a mobile app is also available this year showing housing, registration and floor plan all on one dashboard. Close attention should be paid to the 800 signs, color drapes and carpeting delineating the 12 sections of the show. Badge scanning will speed up product visitations and follow-up for a post-show review and analysis.
Tom also pointed out that there will be some spectacular fun with the show. The ‘SEMA Cruise’ will put 2,000 vehicles that were in booths during the show in a parade down Paradise Road Friday afternoon. And then there is the Global Rally Cross, racing many vehicles modified with products demonstrated at the show.
The meeting continued with Toby Chess speaking about ‘Where our industry is going in the future, and what are you going to do about it?’
He opened with the fact that average fuel economy would have to be from 27.5 to 30.7 mpg for cars by 2015, and from 23.5 to 28.6 mpg for trucks. He also noted that even the Ford F150 pickup truck would be all aluminum.
All vehicles will be smaller, lighter and safer. Vehicles will have high-strength steel that will be ‘replace only’ and cannot be repaired. All vehicles will have Electronic Stability Control and steering angle sensors that will monitor the number of revolutions during the speed of a turn. If the turn is too fast, there will be an automatic computer correction. This will require recalibration during every wheel alignment.
All of this means that every shop will have to have the tools, equipment and training to work on these new vehicles. These jobs will require longer cycle times and far more attention to small details.
Now is the time to be prepared for all aluminum repairs. The latest scan tools are a must. No shop that hopes to survive in this future can afford to wait to get ready. That future is arriving faster than most shop owners realize.
Toby finished with an introduction to the Matrix Measuring System.
From a layman’s point of view, this is a brilliant use of cameras and minute measuring technology to capture an exact picture of any differentiation in vehicle structure, from side to side and bottom to top. Toby noted that you can only measure length and breadth with a transguage, but with the Matrix Measuring System, you can add in depth and that makes all the difference.