By Della Domingo
Accepting the 2012 SEMA Award with SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting (second right) for each of their companies were: (from left) Mark Allen, Chrysler Design, Jeep, and Pietro Gorlier, Mopar president and CEO, for the Wrangler as Hottest 4x4-SUV; Ken Czubay, vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service at Ford, for the F-Series as Hottest Truck and the Mustang as Hottest Car; and Jaycie Dane, corporate manager of Scion, for the FR-S as Hottest Sport Compact.
With predictions for the SEMA Award ranging from new truck models to popular, top-selling models, excitement is rising as to which vehicles will take home top honors.
“The SEMA Award is always a strong indicator of which vehicles are likely going be most popular with consumers in the coming year," said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “Vehicles chosen for display at the SEMA Show are by definition the hottest-trending and most accessory-friendly models among enthusiasts, and these models often become high-demand vehicles for the car-buying public.”
Last year's SEMA Award winners were the Ford Mustang in the car category, the Scion FR-S in the sport compact category, Ford F-Series in the truck category and Jeep Wrangler in the 4x4-SUV category. Industry experts agree that both Chevy and Ford models will again have a strong presence at the SEMA Show with vehicle customizers this year.
Here's what some industry experts are saying:
“I believe the ’14 C7 Corvette will be the most prominent vehicle at the 2013 SEMA Show. The car will be fresh to the market with production starting in early September. For the truck category, I like the ’14 Chevy Silverado; for the 4x4 category, I like the Jeep Wrangler; and for sport compact category, I like the Honda Civic.”
—Mike Copeland, vice president of operations, Lingenfelter Performance Engineering
“I predict that the Ford Mustang and the Ford Focus will win SEMA Awards, with the Ford Mustang as the most prominent and noteworthy at this year’s Show.”
—Tony Gonzalez, general manager, California Pony Cars
“For me, any Ford vehicle is always a must-see with its cutting-edge styling updates. Being a truck girl, I’ve been hearing a lot of hype about the ’14 Chevy Silverado, so I’m excited to see all the different takes on the new redesign from the builders.”
—Theresa Contreras, custom painter/designer, LGE-CTS Motorsports
“I think it could be a Ford truck and a Ford Fusion that’s most prominent this year. I like the Raptor look or off-road look; it’s a popular style right now. And with the Fusion, the sales are breaking records and the styling on it is incredible.”
—Ernie Bunnell, vice president of sales, 3D Carbon
“While last year’s winner, the Ford Mustang, is a perennial favorite, I think this year the title may go to the ’14 Chevy Camaro. The Camaro just received a major facelift for 2014 that carries many of the styling cues from the ZL-1 over to the standard SS model, with sleeker, more aggressive lines. For the truck category, Chevy just unveiled the all-new Silverado, and it’s absolutely loaded with interesting options.”
—Dan Kahn, president of Kahn Media Inc.
The winners of the SEMA Award will be announced Tuesday morning, November 5, 2013, at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. For more information about the SEMA Award, visit www.sema.org/semaaward.