Each year before the start of the SEMA Show, exhibitors are polled on the new vehicles that, to their minds, represent the best business opportunities for customization and accessorization via the aftermarket for the coming year. Vehicles are chosen in five distinct classes, and the winners are announced ahead of the start of the Show. This year’s announcement was made on Monday, November 4, before the first day of the 2019 SEMA Show. The winners are:
As the world’s premier automotive trade show, the SEMA Show reflects the $44 billion automotive aftermarket, bringing together every segment of the industry—from hot rods to mobile electronics and collision repair. And if this year’s Show is any indication, the industry is alive, well and poised for another great year.
SEMA is governed by a Board of Directors who volunteer their time to provide leadership and guidance to the organization. Board members are nominated and elected by the association’s membership at large. Directors serve a three-year term, while the chairman serves for two years immediately after completing a two-year term as chairman-elect. The current Board was inaugurated at the 2019 SEMA Installation & Gala, held July 26, 2019, at the Anaheim Marriott, Anaheim, California.
As OEMs roll out an expanding array of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) on their new vehicles, the latest technologies are proving to be a mixed bag for the aftermarket. On one hand, they open new product channels for the industry’s suppliers and retailers. On the other, they present a challenge to collision-repair, customization and installation shops, all of which must contend with the safe functionality of ADAS components on completed projects.
We spoke with SEMA’s council and network leaders to find out what initiatives they are working on, what’s currently trending in their markets and what they envision the future might hold, and also the challenges they face. Common themes include fighting government overreach, the continued growth of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and expanding youth outreach programs.
In a marked shift from previous years, hackers are much more likely these days to be bent on stealing your computing processing power than embedding ransomware or other malware in your network, according to a March 2019 report from IBM (www.ibm.com/security/data-breach/threat-intelligence). That’s because it’s much safer for hackers to simply steal your computing processing power over the internet—and use it for mining crypto currencies such as Bitcoin—than to get involved in planting other criminal software on business and corporate networks, according to the report’s authors.
SEMA Battle of the Builders (BOTB) gives opportunities to builders worldwide to showcase their talents. Industry legends and up-and-coming builders go head-to-head as they exercise their skill and creativity at the industry’s premier event. Many of the builders spend countless hours on their creations. Some work in teams; some work by themselves. The finished products end up being as unique as the builders themselves, reflecting the talent and originality of the custom car industry.
Hyundai Veloster RM19 Mid-Engine Prototype: It’s expected to be a compact sports car, possibly in the vein of a Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman.
Mustang-Inspired Mach E Performance EV: Previous sightings of Ford’s EV showed the vehicle in mule form, wearing the body of a last-generation Ford Escape.
Porsche’s 820hp Über-Panamera: The Über-Panamera will get 820 hp out of a tuned version of the existing engine.
Anticipation is building as attendees descend on Las Vegas for the 2019 SEMA Show, November 5–8. And why not? Post-Show surveys from last year’s event reported sky-high levels of buyer satisfaction. Among the top attendee objectives were seeing new products (84%), getting ideas (74%), keeping up to date on industry trends (69%), and finding new vendors (58%). Most significant, however, was that an overwhelming majority rated the event as worth the time and cost of attending.
Fifty years ago, the Petersen Publishing Company magazine devoted to the business side of automotive enthusiasm devoted a large number of pages over two issues to cover the 1969 SEMA Show. The quotes reproduced above are the stories’ opening lines. Even five decades later, you can feel the adrenaline rush of enthusiasm and accomplishment the editors were experiencing on their first go-around with the coverage and how that rush transformed with a month’s hindsight into a less jubilant but more confident assessment of what went on at the Anaheim Convention Center in early January—and what it bode for the industry.