Volume 6, Issue 6, November - December 2002

    Attendance Goes Up; Film Companies Pleasantly Surprised

by Penny BeverageSEMA

While 2001’s Special Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) Show was held two short months after September 11, 2001, causing a fall-off in attendance, participants in the 2002 event were pleasantly surprised to see an upturn in participation again. The 2002 show, held in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center, November 5-8, attracted more than 100,000 attendees—a whopping 30,000 increase over last year.

Many exhibitors also were pleased with the new arrangement of exhibiting companies in this year’s show by category.

Many companies save their newest, most exciting products to unveil at SEMA, and this year was no exception. Following are some of the products introduced at this year’s event.

Bekaert Draws Crowd

Bekaert Specialty Films of Clearwater, Fla., kept its booth and the surrounding area packed with Bekaert’s booth stayed full as it demonstrated its Clearshield paint protection film. its Clearshield® paint protection film pattern demonstrations. The Clearshield kits, which are manufactured with 3M paint protection film, allows dealers to apply a clear film to the fronts of vehicles to protect them from bugs, dirt, scratches and nicks, road salt and sand and small road debris. According to the company, the film is practically invisible, durable and dependable and is customized to fit customers’ vehicles. 

The company says the product fits like a glove, won’t harm paint finishes and doesn’t require special maintenance, making it an ideal add-on service for many window film dealers. In addition, dealers get advertising, marketing and merchandising support from Bekaert for signing up for the program. Among these helpful materials are point-of-purchase displays, sales brochures, dealer advertising kits, presentation folders, warranty coverage, mirror hangers, polo shirts, catalogs, installation manual and video and free Internet advertising. The company demonstrated an application of the film at its booth throughout the show and drew hordes of visitors curious about the application and product.

In addition, the company promoted its ComputerCut® integrated business system, an Internet-based program and plotter that cuts film for an entire car within minutes. The system allows applicators to cut film to the right size for any vehicle within minutes, using the custom plotter connected to ComputerCut’s website.

Finally, Bekaert also introduced a new film, HiLite™ Clear Solar Protection. According to the company, the film provides outstanding resistance to interior fading; transmits large amounts of natural light; provides a clear, undetectable appearance; facilitates an even climate; reduces energy use and costs; maintains nighttime visibility; and is safe for almost all window types. The film has a visible light transmittance of 71 percent, visible light reflectance of 9 percent, total solar energy rejection of 58 percent, solar selectivity index of 1.49, infrared rejection of 95 percent and ultraviolet rejection of 99 percent.
Bekaert Specialty Films’ staff came out in full force for the 2002 SEMA Show.
According to Jeffrey Plummer, vice president of sales and marketing for Bekaert, all of the company’s products fared well at this year’s show.

“Dealers who stopped by our booth got to see first-hand the impressive value that Clearshield, ComputerCut, our extensive line of window films and other products will add to their business,” he said. “We pride ourselves on providing dealers with all the necessary tools, business opportunities and support they need to be diverse and ahead of the game.”

Overall, Plummer said the show was successful.

“This year we experienced a record-number of visitors at our booth and dealers attending our after-hours event,” he said. “We more than tripled the number of leads we received this year compared to last.”

Next year, the company has plans to update its booth with extra space and another installation demonstration vehicle, and suspects a growing trend among window film dealers adding on new services.

“The increase in attendance was significant over last year,” Plummer said. “There seems to be a significant trend among window film dealers enhancing their business and product offerings with the ancillary products we offer.”

Madico Goes Hog-Wild

Woburn, Mass.-based Madico Inc. went “hog-wild” at the SEMA show, as it promoted its new dealer campaign, “Go Hog Wild.” The program allows loyal users of Madico film to participate in a rewards program. At the end of each quarter, the company has given several gifts to its dealers and in January 2003, at the end of the first run of the program, the company will draw one name from amongst these dealers who will win two Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The company’s booth was full of both participants and Madico representatives, including the company’s own chief executive officer, Bob Connelly.

One of Madico’s most popular, innovative items is its Lumisty film (shown here). When seen straight on, the film appears clear (at left), but from the side, appears hazy (at right). The company promoted its Onyx and Charcoal auto films to new and potential customers. According to the company, its Onyx and Charcoal auto films reject up to 66 percent of the sun’s heat, reduce glare, block up to 99 percent of damaging ultraviolet rays, reduce interior fading, provide shatter-resistance, are available in light, medium and dark tones, provide optical clarity, are “Contour Engineered™” by Madico and come with a lifetime warranty.

In addition to its auto film sales, a strong area for Madico has been the security film arena.

“If there could possibly be any silver lining to September 11, it was that people have learned what window film is,” Connelly said. “Safety has always been a hard sell before.”

Representatives from Madico promoted auto film at SEMA, but said the company had seen a great rise in security arena in the last year. The The company said it and its dealers have participated in several large security film applications, but couldn’t reveal the locations of these, due to security factors and the privacy agreements in force—particularly when working on government projects.

“As we get more into commercial business, we’ll be able to share more of what we’re doing,” said Tom Niziolek, marketing manager for the company.

However, Paul Panarisi, product manager for window films, said the company has maintained its strength in security, commercial and auto films all along.

“We continue to make strides in all three areas and are strong in all three now,” Panarisi said.

In addition to its product strides, the company will soon celebrate a big anniversary: 2003 will be its 100th year in business.

“It’s been a good 100, and we already have plans for making the next 100 just as good,” Niziolek said.

The company also announced that it has revamped its website, www.madico.com, to make it more user-friendly.

“We knew we needed to give it an update, and we’ve heard the end result was good,” Niziolek said.

Overall, Niziolek said SEMA was successful for Madico.

“It’s a good location, and we mov[ed] people through steadily,” Niziolek.

Axius Medo Offers Add-On for Dealers

Axius Medo, a division of Pennzoil-Quaker State based in Moorpark, Calif., offered an add-on service for window film dealers, Insta-Cling Dragon Windshield Tint Strips. The strips, which feature a variety of dragonesque designs, can be applied easily with a static-type liner by the shop or consumer and can be removed with little effort when desired. Thus, a shop could either sell them separately or could offer as an add-on to film customers. In addition, the company offers a small range of what it calls “fashion-forward” adhesive films.

Commonwealth Laminating Hears a Symphony™
Commonwealth Laminating of Martinsville, Va., was promoting its Symphony line of window films. According to the company, it chose to promote this residential line at the automotive show to those SunTek’s Symphony line who either want to add residential film to their businesses—or who don’t apply film yet at all, and hope to add it on as a service they can offer. 

The Symphony line sputtered films are dual-reflective, fade- and corrosion-resistant and provide advanced ultraviolet resistance, according to the company. The series is available in a range of formulas for auto, residential and commercial, and with ranges of performance to meet customers’ specific needs.

CPFilms Stays in the Race
CPFilms Inc. of Martinsville, Va., drew a crowd with both its stellar assortment of products to the star in its booth: NASCAR driver Kerry Earnhardt, son of the late Dale Earnhardt and brother of Dale Earnhardt Jr. (also a NASCAR star), signed autographs for attendees visiting the booth. 

CPFilms’ TintTek 20/20 The company promoted its Tint Tek™ 20/20, a computerized film-cutting system. According to the company, the machine provides a perfect cut for each auto film application with just the touch of a few buttons. The machine is pre-programmed with the sizes and shapes of almost every imaginable vehicle and the user simply selects the manufacturer, make, model and window of choice, clicks enter and the film is cut.

“The cost of the machine is worth it in the long run, with as many more jobs as you can get done in a day,” said Ginny Kubler, marketing director for the company. 

In addition, CPFilms provided a large screen for attendees to sit and watch, as it rolled films of the its many commercials and news spots in which it has been involved. The company also kept attendees interested with demonstrations on how to heat-form backlites of vehicles.

FTI Unveils Cutting System
Film Technologies International (FTI), which is based in St. Petersburg, Fla., introduced the X-PEL Production Suite, an advanced film cutting system that offers hundreds of patterns. In addition, the software tracks film from the box to the vehicle, allowing dealers to keep an inventory of what they have on-hand in a simple manner. In addition, the system helps shop owners manage and monitor applicators’ productivity. Finally, the software can even help shop owners track their revenues, labor times, film usage, redos and other cost factors.

Huper Optik Promotes Ceramic Films
Houston-based Huper Optik focused its efforts at SEMA on promoting its ceramic films and on new business development services it offers to dealers. The company now has a program in which it assists shops that use Huper Optik film with hiring new staff, training them, developing strategic marketing plans and integrating Internet marketing into their businesses. The company has already developed several marketing plans for dealers who have requested them.

In other news at Huper Optik, the company recently was contracted to apply film to 356 buses in Phoenix and hoped to be contracted by more cities for similar efforts in the near future.

JAX Develops One-Way Imaging
Jax’s one-way imaging film JAX Inc. of Malibu, Calif., will offer its X-TEX™ one-way imaging technology. The film, applicable for cars and trucks, offers customized designs without compromising interior vision. 

According to the company, its patented layered film presents a crisp pattern or logo—based on the customer’s choice—from the outside with no interrupted view from the inside. 

Marklyn Heads for the Moon
MoonRaker Professional Film. Canada-based Marklyn Co. Inc. unveiled its MoonRaker™ Professional Film, which it says has been tried and tested under a vast number of extreme conditions on vehicles. According to the company, the film was developed to provide a large amount of slip, using heavy amounts of adhesive. In addition, the company says this reduces the amount of scratches the glass endures. 

Moonraker film also comes in a variety of colors, including deep ebony black, black alloy, black stainless metallized, polished sterling, charcoal fader and 2-tones in red, blue, green and gold.

Afternoon at the Monte Carlo
Johnson’s Breck Wilson assists one of the the company's many visitors.
Johnson Window Film s of Carson, Calif., recreated its own live Monte Carlo casino for the show. Equipped with its own roulette wheel and blackjack table, along with snacks for its many visitors, the company showed off its extensive line of auto films and promoted its training classes, which it holds monthly at its facility in Carson.

Performance Tools Extends Product Line
Performance Tools Distributing of Dublin, Ohio, offered a number of brand-new tools at the show. Among them were the TEK sprayer, the OLFA A2 cutter and the OLFA H-1 extra heavy-duty knife. The TEK sprayer is a commercial-grade, 2.5-liter poly-pressure sprayer. Likewise, the OLFA A1 cutter is a standard-duty cutter with rubber grip insert for maximum control. Finally, the OLFA H-1 extra heavy-duty knife is equipped with a rubber grip insert and ratchet wheel blade lock to prevent slipping. The knife uses #B124 blades.

ProtectGard® Offers Premium Plus
ProtectGard of Miami introduced a range of decorative films called Premium Plus. According to the company, the sputtered, high-performance films come in micro 20 and 35, and are available in colors, such as yellow, blue and magenta, that are usually considered non-high-performance. The films are available for both decorate use and automotive applications.

Next year’s event is slated for November 4-7, 2003, at the Las Vegas Convention Center and adjoining Sands Hotel.

In the September-October 2002 issue of Window Film’s SEMA Preview (see page 26), there were a number of incorrect booth numbers listed. 

Woburn, Mass.-based Madico Inc. was inadvertently omitted from this list. In addition, the booth numbers of Bekaert Specialty Films LLC of Clearwater, Fla., St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Film Technologies International and Hawthorne, Calif.-based JAX Inc. were listed incorrectly, due to incorrect information found on the SEMA website at press time.

Window Film regrets the errors.


© Copyright 2002 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.