Second SEMA Garage Planned For Metro Detroit Area

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is bringing a new and exciting project to the Detroit, Michigan area! Recently, SEMA announced plans to build a 45,000 square-foot facility, chock full of high-tech equipment, a testing lab, and new services for ADAS systems in Plymouth, Michigan, about 30 miles outside of Detroit. It goes without saying that the location is perfect, as it is located near several major automakers as well as many Tier One suppliers, SEMA member companies, test tracks, automotive technology, and aftermarket suppliers.

The building has already been acquired and will exist as the second SEMA Garage (the first is located in California). Manufacturers will have access to the facility and be able to use its advanced product development tools and equipment, a state-of-the-art emissions testing lab, an ADAS (advanced driver-assistance systems) research and development center, and utilize expert technicians who will work with the manufacturers to bring new products to the market.

The original SEMA Garage in Diamond Bar, California is shown. Photo courtesy of SEMA.

“The SEMA Garage Detroit facility opens up new doors and opportunities,” said Mike Spagnola, vice president of OEM relations and product development at SEMA. “We will be able to take our current offerings to a whole new level by making the services accessible to new members, incorporating new technology, and collaborating with key partners in the area.”

The first SEMA Garage is located in Diamond Bar, California, and is similar to the Detroit version in that it gives aftermarket parts manufacturers access to the sophisticated resources that are usually only available to large-scale manufacturers. This is a game-changer for smaller companies who have, until now, been unable to participate at this level.

“The SEMA Garage product development center was specifically designed to help smaller companies with tools, equipment, and expertise to guide them through the product development stage,” Spagnola explained. “Tools like Faro Arms, handheld CMM scanners, 3D printers, thousands of files of CAD data, and access to late-model vehicles are all part of the SEMA Garage program, as well as staff engineers to assist in guidance through the development stage. In addition, the SEMA Garage has an emissions compliance team and complete emissions lab to assist members through the CARB EO process for any products that require an EO or EPA recognition.”

The Detroit facility will dwarf the original SEMA Garage, which is about 15,000 square feet by comparison. The SEMA Garage in Diamond Bar opened its doors in 2013 and in the eight years since its opening has granted more than 1,000 SEMA manufacturers exclusive access to new vehicles and CAD files, facilitated rapid prototyping, and assisted in obtaining CARB EOs. It features nearly $2 million worth of equipment including two vehicle lifts, a portable coordinate measuring machine (CMM) for 3D scanning, a 3D printer for fast prototyping, digital race car scales for the most precise vehicle weight measurements, a dynamometer for precise emissions measurements, and more.

The SEMA Garage is a game changer for manufacturers. -Mike Spagnola, SEMA

“By utilizing the tools and resources in the SEMA Garage, manufacturers no longer rely on trial and error for their product development,” said Spagnola. “They are also able to navigate the complex process of obtaining required certifications and meet compliance.”

The Detroit facility will feature exclusive OEM measuring sessions, scanning services, advanced tools and equipment, a CARB-recognized emissions lab, and a modern training center, and well as expanded services and offer new SEMA benefits through the ADAS Research and Development Center. As we mentioned before, ADAS stands for advanced driver-assistance systems. The ADAS Center is a brand-new venture for SEMA which will allow manufacturers to obtain static calibration of onboard vehicle ADAS systems (radars and cameras). The OEM-quality equipment and procedures offered at SEMA Garage Detroit will provide manufacturers with the ability to troubleshoot software and hardware obstacles easily. It will also allow them to work on dynamic testing together with local facilities. Utilizing the SEMA Garage’s resources, fully functional prototypes can be developed by manufacturers in as little as two weeks.

The plans for SEMA Garage Detroit include extensive facilities improvements and tons of new equipment, including emissions and horsepower testing for all-wheel-drive and diesel vehicles, vehicle lifts, full sets of tools, fabrication equipment, an alignment rack, 3D scanning tools, and engineering software. A 48-inch all-wheel-drive chassis dynamometer will be installed in a purpose-built lab, which will also house a new emissions test bench. With emissions being the hot button topic of the day, SEMA Garage Detroit will be able to perform all of the required CARB and EPA test procedures, with equipment that meets CARB’s new 1066 testing requirement standards. CARB EOs can be obtained by manufacturers in as little as 12 weeks.

Members can look forward to the SEMA Garage Detroit facility opening in early 2022. For more information, visit www.semagarage.com.

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About the author

Stephanie Davies-Bardekoff

Stephanie Davies-Bardekoff got her start in automotive media while attending Rutgers. She worked for Roush Performance for a while, before eventually landing here at Power Automedia. Her Coyote-swapped 1992 Fox-body drag car is her prized possession.
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