THE BEST OF SEMA 2014
Igniting the Industry
Each year, during the first week of November, manufacturers of automotive parts and accessories gather in Las Vegas to debut their new products and connect with buyers and media. As the largest annual gathering of small businesses, the SEMA Show provides these manufacturers with a venue for which to do business. They spend months in advance preparing their booths and securing meetings, and they work nonstop during the Show to connect with buyers who are seeking the hottest, newest products to fill their store shelves.
With more than 2,400 exhibitors at the 2014 SEMA Show, the most recent event was the ideal platform for industry professionals to discover new products and trends. In addition to four dedicated Show days, the 2014 SEMA Show included pre- and post-event activities that offered added opportunities for networking and training.
New at the 2014 SEMA Show was a Media Preview, hosted by the Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) on Monday before Show opening. Hundreds of editors and reporters met with exhibitors for a sneak peak as to what they would be sharing in the days to follow. Also new was SEMA Ignited, a brand-new event that took place on Friday evening after the SEMA Show concluded. Taking place at The LINQ in Las Vegas, SEMA Ignited was open to consumers and attracted more than 10,000 individuals to the event.
“The unprecedented participation levels this year indicate that the industry is moving into growth mode,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “This was a record-breaking year, and we’re seeing companies ready and eager to do business.”
On the pages that follow, we’ve selected a few highlights from the 2014 Show. Thumb through the pages, enjoy the photography and watch as the industry gets ignited.
TheAt a Tuesday-morning press conference, SEMA Show attendees assembled to see Toyota reveal an apparently street-legal car that looked like an ordinary ’15 Camry XSE sedan. Only blacked-out windows and suspiciously large rear tires suggested this was anything other than a stock passenger car. Moments later, a stunned audience found a full tube-frame, 900hp drag-race car capable of running an estimated 9.80-second quarter-mile.
The SEMA Show provides one of life’s few opportunities to be rewarded for being different. It’s a place where style, originality and inventive instincts drive innovation, and where unfettered imagination can be celebrated. Here thrash metal guitarist Kerry King from Slayer plugs in and demonstrates the audio capabilities of the Scion x Slayer Mobile Amp tC, using the car to jam without any external equipment.
The SEMA Show is where trends first become apparent, when suddenly out of nowhere, new ideas populate the Show floor. There were dozens of new trends for automotive aficionados to identify for 2014, including the prevalence of colored wheels, growing not taller but wider.
Richard Petty and Dennis Pittsenbarger (host of Discovery Channel production “Highway to Sell”) enjoy a cross-generational moment on the SEMA Central stage. The SEMA Show is a mecca for automotive royalty of all kinds, including TV personalities, celebrated race car drivers, sports figures and iconic artisans.
Dozens of concept cars, custom builds and meticulous restorations were unveiled at the 2014 SEMA Show. With more than 3,300 credentialed media in attendance, plus a huge social-media footprint, the news of the day exploded across the web. Here, the sheet comes off Ford’s 600hp King Cobra Mustang, a news event that quickly accumulated more than 756,000 hits on Google.
SEMA Showgoers had a unique opportunity to meet top off-road and desert race drivers at the 2014 SEMA Show. The 70,000-sq.-ft SCORE Baja 1000 Experience was located outside of South Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The SCORE exhibit included dozens of Baja 1000 Trophy Truck and Class 1 race vehicles, and was just one of the racing and motorsports exhibits at the Show. The Racing and Performance exhibitor contingent, the largest segment at the Show, grew by 8% for 2014.
A parade like no other in the world, the SEMA Cruise features hundreds of the world’s most amazing cars and trucks. Like any good parade it’s free, so anyone can take in the automotive spectacle. More than 2,000 enthusiastic viewers crowded the exit road to applaud the efforts of hundreds of exhibitors.
Growing enthusiasm for additive manufacturing—otherwise known as 3-D printing—was evident at the 2014 SEMA Show. By turning digital files into solid objects, product development cycles can be shortened, innovative ideas can be tested, and new creations can be dreamed, produced and modified as never before. Phoenix-based Local Motors took the technology to a new level by printing an entire Strati car in 44 hours, and driving it away from the Show.
Builders’ Battle Won
Feature vehicle builders—architects in metal, fabricators and craftspersons—are heros at the SEMA Show. This year 129 builders participated in the Battle of the Builders, in which top vehicle builders were recognized for their originality and workmanship. The competition was the foundation for a nationwide television special that will air in early March on the Velocity Network. The climax came when the top three vote-getters appeared on stage at SEMA Ignited. Kyle Tucker’s ’69 Chevy Camaro (center stage) was judged to be the most outstanding, topping a field of 165 exceptional vehicles.