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SEMA Show 2019: Trend Spotting

By Chris Kersting

Chris Kersting

With just two weeks to go, we can report that the 2019 SEMA Show is going to be an outstanding opportunity for industry buyers and sellers to do business. As in past years, exhibitor participation is stretching the limits of the facility. The Las Vegas Convention Center floorplan is packed with a remarkable array of companies representing every industry segment—and emerging new trends within those segments.

Show registration data indicates that new-product offerings will be arrayed on a record number of one-off feature vehicles, tangible evidence of the innovation and imagination our industry fosters. Exhibitors are working to finalize their booth displays and planning product demonstrations, special pricing offers and backing their efforts with expert personnel. And again this year, hundreds of first-time exhibitors are poised to bring new ideas and offerings to the Show.

Industry activity is consistent with past Shows, and yet the industry and the SEMA Show are rapidly evolving. One barometer of change is the range of new products exhibitors bring to the Show, which often reveal new trends the industry is capturing.

For example, the overlanding trend continues to build as outdoor adventure-seekers rig up purpose-built, rugged vehicles for expeditions and camping. This growing subset of the off-road market has caught the attention of SEMA manufacturers, spawning a range of products that put self-contained adventure travel in reach for more customers.

While tricked-out trucks have surged in recent years, 2019 Show registration data indicates that this year’s feature vehicle crop includes a significant wave of sport compacts, Euro tuners and exotics.

Another trend can be seen in the products that relate to advanced driver-assistance systems, otherwise known as ADAS. In this fast-growing segment, companies are producing products that allow shops to offer safety as a new form of performance—and customers to update their cars with state-of-the-art systems.

In the emerging-segment category, we are beginning to see companies converting a wide range of cool cars and trucks to electric propulsion, including race cars and classics. At the same time, traditional OEMs are exciting the industry with new e-models aimed at enthusiasts. While still early in the market cycle, those at the leading edge of this segment are seeing rapid growth. This year’s SEMA Show will showcase the trend along with some of the companies leading the segment, and we’ll see parts and equipment that make it possible for a wide variety of vehicles to enjoy new life as electric cars.

The Show will also illustrate how the industry is evolving in the competition to reach customers and convince them to buy. At the Show, you’ll find a special group of SEMA manufacturers that have achieved Platinum status with the SEMA Data Co-op, the industry’s largest repository of digitized product information. These are the manufacturers that offer the most accurate, up-to-date product data to retailers, complete with enhanced images, videos and fitment information that power product listings that get customers to commit. Retailers can look for booth designations that identify manufacturers offering top product data and target them as part of their Show plan.

We’ll be keeping an eye on those trends and others as they develop. And we’ll be working to assure that this year’s SEMA Show offers the core value that both exhibitors and attendees have come to expect.

At www.SEMAShow.com, you’ll find all the information you need to get prepared so you can hit the ground running and have your most productive SEMA Show ever!