SEMA News - January 2011

More than 114,000 industry professionals gathered in Las Vegas during the week of November 2–5 for the 2010 SEMA Show, and the tone was decidedly optimistic. Exhibitors, buyers, media and other professionals were there to learn, collaborate, network and explore, sharing their passion in order to build their businesses and celebrate their shared experiences. The SEMA Show provides a window into the future of the industry as well as the hottest cars and best parts for 2011.

“The enthusiasm and attitude was huge,” said Tony Napoli Jr., owner of American Speed Centers of York, Pennsylvania. As a member of the SEMA Board of Directors, Napoli attended the event knowing that industry participation would be up from the previous year. Still, he was overwhelmed and impressed with what he saw, and feedback like Napoli’s is what Show organizers ultimately rely on to gauge the success of the event.

“Our customers speak louder than the numbers,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “Based on what we’re hearing, the 2010 SEMA Show was a very positive bounce for the industry.”

Thurston Schultz, owner of AAC, a first-time exhibitor and winner of the Best New Product in the Tools and Equipment category, said that his company generated far greater business than he had expected. “There was so much action that we had to shut down the ‘to order’ part of our website,” he said. “Our booth was swamped from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. when the lights went out. If I were to make an observation of the Show, it would be that, big or small, everyone is welcome because ‘you are what you drive’ at SEMA.”

As buyers and exhibitors follow up on the contacts they established at the 2010 SEMA Show, many are also looking forward to the 2011 event, to be held November 1–4. The accompanying photo album provides an overview of this year’s Show, but be sure to visit to see more and to get complete information for 2011.



The inaugural SEMA Awards were presented to the Chevrolet Camaro for the Hottest Car, the Ford F-Series for the Hottest Truck and the Jeep Wrangler for the Hottest 4x4-SUV during the 2010 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

Show organizers relied on the trend-setting influence of exhibitors to determine the winners.

“A booth space is a ballot,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO, “and the models these exhibitors have selected represent their votes.”

To learn more about the SEMA Award winners and the products that are available for them, see “The SEMA Awards” in this issue or visit here.

SEMA News-January 2011-2010 SEMA Show Portfolio


The SEMA Show has evolved over the last four decades.

The exhibitors not only display their creations but also demonstrate them in a way that no other trade event can match. For instance, the Ford Out Front …Fueled by Monster in the open area at the west side of the Las Vegas Convention Center featured high-performance, rubber-burning demonstrations, and the adjacent Proving Ground and Lucas Off-Road Demonstration showcased the industry’s latest innovations flying high and playing in the dirt.

  SEMA News-January 2011-2010 SEMA Show Portfolio 


Beyond all the flash and sizzle that the SEMA Show represents is the opportunity to dig deep inside products. The SEMA Show draws the industry’s brightest minds and hottest products to one place and attracts more than 114,000 industry leaders from more than 100 countries. As Dave McClelland pointed out at the banquet, the Specialty Equipment Market Association is the manufacturers, distributors, retailers, builders, reps, publishers, restylers, racers and marketing and PR folks who have created the industry.  “We are from different countries and various backgrounds, but we are all interconnected through this association,” he said.


SEMA News-January 2011-2010 SEMA Show Portfolio 




The SEMA Show drew about 3,000 credentialed media from endemic automotive outlets, such as websites, radio and television shows as well as publications, including Hot Rod, Motor Trend and 4-Wheel & Off-Road. In addition, mainstream and new-media publications, such as The New York Times, USA Today and Jalopnik brought the SEMA Show to the general public. But surely the most enthusiastic and upbeat among those providing coverage was Barry Meguiar (right) and his “Car Crazy” production crew. Meguiar is shown here with Michael Anthony (center), a founding member of the rock band Van Halen and co-founder with Brad Fanshaw (left) of bonspeed Wheels.

  SEMA News-January 2011-2010 SEMA Show Portfolio 
The SEMA Show hosts myriad celebrities from motorsports and the entertainment world, and attendees are likely to find themselves rubbing elbows with anyone from NHRA Funny Car driver John Force to rapper and record producer Snoop Dog. 


The theme of the 2010 SEMA Show Awards Banquet was “We Are SEMA,” and SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting kicked-off the annual gala by emphasizing the collaborative and community aspects of the industry. “The word ‘we’ has taken on extra importance in the challenging times our industry is experiencing,” he said. “We are learning lessons that we’ll carry forward in our businesses even when times get better.” The 2010 SEMA Show included a wealth of networking elements, such as an exhibitor appreciation party, the New Products Breakfast and the Industry Banquet itself. 

  SEMA News-January 2011-2010 SEMA Show Portfolio 


The landscape is changing in the paint body and equipment industry. Collision repair businesses are looking to enhance their businesses, and the SEMA Show represents a fantastic opportunity for them.

The Paint, Body & Equipment section of the SEMA Show is the fastest- growing area of the event, and SEMA partnered this year with the Society of Collision Repair Specialists to present repairer-driven education, which included 21 seminars specifically designed or chosen with the collision repair professional in mind. Industry professionals were also able to attend meetings with the Collision Industry Conference and participate in education from I-CAR during the Show. “Paint and body has increasingly become an important market,” said Peter MacGillivray,

  SEMA News-January 2011-2010 SEMA Show Portfolio 

Vice President of communications and events. “That’s why the Paint, Body & Equipment section of the Show was expanded in just its second year of existence. That’s also why we partnered with industry experts to provide this audience with quality education and networking opportunities.” 


In addition to the thousands of innovative new products and tricked-out vehicles on display, the 2010 SEMA Show featured nearly 80 educational seminars and workshops covering everything from business management to online marketing and industry trends. A key component of the Show is the quality education and training provided by the SEMA Education Institute (SEI), which provides classes designed to give attendees practical tools to implement into their business practices. Also, SEMA Vice President of Vehicle Technology John Waraniak organized four Vehicle Technology Briefing SuperSessions around the concepts of driving safe, driving connected, green performance and performance oil. Rock legend Neil Young attended the green performance session to present his Lincvolt, the world’s first micro-turbine-powered bioelectro cruiser, and deliver the keynote speech about his green-minded ideas for automotive technology.


SEMA News-January 2011-2010 SEMA Show Portfolio


Delivering comments on the topic of environmentally responsible and efficient automotive technology were (from left) Bryan Krulikowski, vice president of Morpace; Steve Gillette, vice president for business development of Capstone Turbine Corp.; Young; Peter Diamandis, CEO and founder of the X-Prize Foundation; Scott Atherton, president and CEO of American Le Mans Series; Waraniak; Azhar Hussain, founder of the TTXGP eGrandPrix; Patrick Reininger, vice president of Polk Research; Imtiaz Haque, executive director of Clemson University’s ICAR; Paul Perrone, president and CEO of Perrone Robotics; and Roy Brizio, owner of Brizio Street Rods and principle builder of the Lincvolt. (The Lincvolt was heavily damage recently in a fire caused by human error. For complete information about the car and its history, visit here.) 



The automakers were also out in full force at the 2010 SEMA Show, with 12 of the world’s most prolific brands displaying the products that are the foundation of the automotive world. Many premiered new vehicles at the Show during standing-room-only press conferences. Ralph Gilles (right), president and CEO of Dodge and senior vice president of design at Chrysler, and Pietro Gorlier, president of Mopar, were on hand to introduce the press to the 2011 RedLine Dodge Charger. Chrysler is one of the automotive stalwarts that regularly participates with SEMA-member companies in programs such as Technology Transfer and Measuring Sessions, ensuring that consumers receive the greatest variety of choices and options possible with which to personalize their vehicles. 

  SEMA News-January 2011-2010 SEMA Show Portfolio 


Local Motors President, CEO andCo-Founder John B. Rogers delivered the keynote address at the annual New Products Breakfast. Rogers launched Local Motors three years ago based on the concept of open-source co-creation and local manufacturing, a business practice and philosophy highlighted in the August issue of SEMA News. During the breakfast, Rogers explained how open sourcing would change the production of automobiles and the importance of a collaborative development environment to share ideas. The SEMA New Products Program included more than 2,000 entries at the 2010 SEMA Show, adding value to all participants by showcasing exhibitors’ innovative creations in a high-traffic area of the Show floor, plus a web program that includes still photography and videos of every product. The photos and videos can be accessed here, and the New Products Award winners are also detailed in this issue.  

SEMA News-January 2011-2010 SEMA Show Portfolio



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