PLYMOUTH, Mich. — The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has closed on its deal to buy a 45,000-sq.-ft. building in Plymouth that it plans to convert to a second "SEMA Garage" to complement the existing SEMA Garage near SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, Calif.
The new facility in Plymouth — to be known as SEMA Garage Detroit — "opens up new doors and opportunities," Mike Spagnola, SEMA vice president of OEM relations and product development, said.
Mr. Spagnola had briefed members of SEMA's Wheel & Tire Council in late March on the site, which at the time was still in final closing.
"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," he said.
The SEMA Garage concept is to provide SEMA member businesses access to the tools and equipment they need to get their products off the drawing board and into customer hands. The trade group says the facility in Diamond Bar is the only facility of its kind in the U.S.
Plymouth is a city of about 9,000 located 25 miles west of Detroit. Mr. Spagnola estimates there are at least 80 automotive companies located in and around Plymouth.
The new facility is three time the size of the SEMA Garage in Diamond Bar, which will allow SEMA to offer manufacturers access to advanced product-development tools and equipment, a state-of-the-art emissions testing lab, a research and development center for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), and expert technicians who will help bring products to market.
The new facility is scheduled to open for members in early 2022. SEMA is budgeting several hundred thousand dollars for equipping the new facility. SEMA did not say what purpose the building had served prior to this nor how long it has been vacant.
Mr. Spagnola cautioned that some pieces of equipment SEMA envisions for this center could take up a year for delivery from time of ordering.
The ADAS Center represents a new venture for SEMA, where manufacturers will be able to obtain static calibration of on-board vehicle ADAS systems (radars and cameras). With access to OEM-quality equipment and procedures, manufacturers will be able to easily troubleshoot software/hardware obstacles, as well as work on dynamic testing in conjunction with local facilities.
Other testing assets to be available at the Plymouth facility include OEM measuring sessions, scanning services, advanced tools and equipment, a CARB-recognized emissions lab, and a modern training center.
SEMA Garage Detroit will undergo extensive facilities improvements and include new equipment, such as 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.
The lab will be purpose-built to accommodate a 48-inch all-wheel-drive chassis dynamometer and include a new emissions test bench. With equipment that meets California Air Resources Board's new 1066 testing requirement standards, SEMA Garage Detroit will be able to perform all required CARB and EPA test procedures.
"The SEMA Garage is a game changer for manufacturers," Mr. Spagnola said. "By utilizing the tools and resources in the SEMA Garage, manufacturers no longer rely on trial and error for their product development. They are also able to navigate the complex process of obtaining required certifications and meet compliance."
Through the SEMA Garage's resources, manufacturers are often able to develop fully functional prototypes in as little as two weeks and obtain CARB EOs in as little as 12 weeks.
For more information, visit semagarage.com.