LOS ANGELES -- One of the hardest things for a small-time supplier of aftermarket parts is to gain access to the newest vehicles to develop prototype parts.
To help its members, the Specialty Equipment Market Association has developed a test-bed garage where companies can build and test prototype parts on cutting-edge equipment for a fraction of the cost of doing it themselves.
If all goes well, the garage will help suppliers speed the flow of new parts to auto dealers and others marketers.
"A lot of our members are $1 million to $10 million companies who don't have the resources to do this," said Mike Spagnola, vice president of SEMA's product development center. "We're doing a bit of hand-holding to get them up to speed."