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SEMA and Clemson form partnership

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The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and Clemson University have formed a "strategic alliance" aimed at shaping the future of the automotive performance aftermarket industry.

The announcement was made by outgoing Chairman Jim Cozzie during the group’s annual board officer’s installment ceremony on Aug. 3, 2009.

“The new alliance represents an unprecedented industry-academia platform for advanced vehicle technology and performance aftermarket education program development, notably forged in the midst of one of the automotive industry’s most challenging periods in history,” he said.

“The automotive original equipment and aftermarket industries are undergoing serious transformations and will continue to evolve in the coming years. The Clemson relationship can benefit SEMA member companies by providing vehicle technology integration, development and support to help members leverage new business opportunities.”

As part of the agreement, Clemson University’s Campbell Graduate Engineering Center is positioned to serve as a systems integration and testing center for SEMA and its 7,500 members. The academic center houses a variety of laboratories and test cells, including a seven-post shaker in an environmental chamber; a chassis dynamometer in a semi-anechoic chamber; engine test cells; an electromagnetic compatibility chamber; and a full-scale vehicle, 3-Dimensional CMM for measuring geometric and physical coordinates of parts and vehicle surfaces.

Dr. Imtiaz Haque, executive director of the Campbell Center, said an “ultimate goal would be for SEMA and Clemson to collaboratively develop an integrated systems approach for designing and customizing today’s vehicles and vehicles of the future. Among other initiatives, the graduate center will develop prototype project vehicles with the objective of demonstrating the integration of specialty equipment and performance aftermarket components, total vehicle systems and modules, thereby creating new opportunities for interested SEMA member companies to directly participate.”
 
SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting said the Clemson-SEMA relationship supports SEMA’s vehicle technology strategic goals for identifying industry needs and developing effective solutions to assist members with complex vehicle technology challenges and opportunities.

“In the midst of these difficult times, we hope to collaboratively develop a clear pathway for the multi-billion automotive aftermarket industry and SEMA member companies,” he said.

For more information on SEMA, visit www.sema.org. For more information on Clemson University, visit www.clemson.edu/research.

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