Despite sporadic gas prices across the country, Americans’ love affair with their trucks is stronger than ever, and so is brand loyalty among consumers. The light-duty truck market is heating up as Chevrolet, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) revealed new models from their clandestine design and engineering arsenals at Detroit’s 2018 North American International Auto Show. That event in the Motor City is basically in the backyard of the domestic OEMs. GM, Ford and FCA may feel that they have home-court advantage, but it’s anyone’s game in this ongoing battle for pickup supremacy.
For many in the custom-car industry, the SEMA Battle of the Builders is a chance to prove that they are among the best. The 2017 competition began with nearly 300 applications from builders representing an elite group of individuals who have demonstrated extreme talent, creativity and craftsmanship in modifying cars, trucks and SUVs. The field was not only the largest to date but was also deep in entries of exceptional quality. This year also saw the expansion of the Young Guns recognition, which shines the light on young, up-and-coming builders in the automotive industry.
New wheels are among the easiest personalizations consumers can make to their vehicles and have therefore become a staple of the specialty-equipment industry. More than adding style, new wheels can affect functionality and performance, which means the segment is continually evolving. How can the market stay on top of the latest advances in design, materials and manufacturing processes? The answer is the annual SEMA Show, where all that and more is on display.
Wheels and tires are fundamental to every automobile and therefore remain aftermarket staples. The “2017 SEMA Market Report” estimates the current custom wheel market to be worth $1.21 billion in sales, while performance and special-purpose tires top $2.22 billion combined. Add an off-road and plus-size tire market estimated at another $1.62 billion, and it’s easy to see why 370 wheel and tire manufacturers flooded the 2017 SEMA Show floor to debut more than 175 new products alongside hundreds more of their legacy offerings.
The term “keyword” is broad and perplexing. There may still be misconceptions in the automotive aftermarket as to why they are, in fact, relevant in promoting and selling products. Let’s debunk the myth.
As the market for Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) becomes more established, the demand to retrofit older vehicles with those systems will also increase, creating significant new opportunities for companies in the automotive specialty-equipment industry.
Now in its eighth year, the SEMA Award returns to illuminate the vehicles that SEMA Show parts and accessory manufacturers deem the hottest and most specialty-equipment-friendly. The award recognizes new and emerging trends while also guiding consumers to the most accessory-friendly vehicles in the marketplace.
A new episode of the TV special “SEMA: Battle of the Builders,” based on the competition held during the 2017 SEMA Show, will premiere on the Velocity Channel on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Since 2015, the unique one-hour program has aired on the network, giving viewers a rare behind-the-scenes look at the SEMA Show, up-close footage of the vehicles, and exclusive interviews with builders as they share their personal stories and journey to the world’s premier automotive trade show.
After 51 years, the SEMA Show has become many things. Once primarily a marketplace for hot-rod parts, the Show has grown to embrace all things automotive, commingling varied tastes, disciplines and business models—all under one roof. It’s the one place in the world where you’ll find a customized Lamborghini sitting next to an outrageous hot rod, flanked by a 1,000hp Camaro and a custom Harley. With 12 distinctly different segments represented, the SEMA Show creates crossover possibilities and an energy far greater than the sum of its parts.
The 2017 SEMA Show kicked-off the morning of October 31, with the New Product Awards. The annual competition recognizes outstanding achievements in the development of products being introduced to the automotive specialty-equipment market at the SEMA Show. Products are judged in 16 award categories, and each category has one winner and two runners-up.