SEMA News - September 2010

  SEMA News-September 2010-Chris Kersting  
Each year, the SEMA Show becomes the focal point for innovation in the automotive industry. It is the venue where manufacturers are able to connect with retailers to bring innovations to consumers around the world. So it won’t come as a surprise that the SEMA team is again doing its part with some great innovations in the SEMA Show itself. I want to tell you about a few of the new opportunities for Show attendees to learn more about new products and automotive systems at the 2010 gathering.

The first is the introduction of an exciting new industry award—“The Hottest Vehicles of the SEMA Show.” The award will allow us to celebrate the outstanding vehicles and trends in the specialty-parts industry and showcase this year’s coolest products. The three awards—Hottest Pickup Truck, Hottest 4x4 and Hottest Car of the SEMA Show—will be selected on the basis of the vehicle models that manufacturers display most often in their SEMA Show booths. The nominees will be limited to 2010 and 2011 model-year vehicles, reflecting the models that specialty-equipment manufacturers believe are the best platforms for accessorization and this year’s bumper crop of new products. The new award program will also emphasize the fruits of the cooperative relationship between the automakers and SEMA-member companies, evidenced by information-sharing programs, such as SEMA Measuring Sessions and Tech Transfer, which provide SEMA members access to advanced vehicle design information. Watch for upcoming news about the “Contender Vehicles” vying for honors as the Hottest of the SEMA Show, and then look for the announcement of the winners and a grand awards presentation at the Show in Las Vegas.

And speaking of advanced design, be sure to attend this year’s Technical Briefing SuperSessions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (November 1–3) of the Show. These intriguing vehicle technology previews feature stellar panels of automotive experts, such as Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America; Paul Williamsen, national manager of Lexus College, Toyota Motor Sales USA; Dr. Andrew Brown, SAE president and chief technical officer of Delphi; and Peter Appel, administrator of research and innovative administration for the U.S. Department of Transportation. These sessions will offer insights into vehicle dynamics, the future of high-performance hybrids and electrics, and the integration of automotive and consumer electronics.

Also be sure to check out the Clemson University (CU)-ICAR “Deep Orange” project, where students have designed and built a car using “a radical approach to designing the car of the future.” SEMA’s relationship with CU-ICAR continues to grow, helping member manufacturers engineer products that will integrate with today’s complex vehicle technology. For example, member companies working with CU-ICAR facilities are helping to develop a revolutionary means to design and integrate suspension products to work compatibly with electronic stability control systems. Check the SEMA Show schedule for opportunities to learn more about Clemson’s state-of-the-art facilities and programs—opportunities important to all SEMA manufacturing members.

You may also have heard about SEMA’s expanded relationship with the Tire Industry Association (TIA) and the debut of the Global Tire Expo—Powered by TIA at this year’s SEMA Show. The Expo is open to all segments of the tire industry, including automotive, commercial, retreading, recycling and more. The Expo will include more than 290 exhibiting companies as well as expanded educational sessions targeted at the tire market and led by experts in the tire industry. With so many businesses looking to include tire-related products, this dedicated floor section and the educational programs will help buyers discover the potential that the tire industry has to offer.

For a more detailed look at these and other new SEMA Show programs, be sure to check out “A 2010 SEMA Show Preview,” , “SEMA Show Tips and Freebies for Exhibitors” and “2010 Vehicle Technology Briefing Seminar Program” in your September issue of SEMA News. The SEMA Show is only a few months away, and it promises to be one of the best ever. I’ll see you there!  

—Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO 

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