SEMA News—October 2020


By Douglas McColloch

Cancelled for 2020, the SEMA Show will reconvene at the Las Vegas Convention Center next year, November 2—5, 2021.

SEMA Announces Cancellation of 2020 SEMA Show

SEMA has announced that due to COVID-19 and concerns that event facilities and services will be unavailable, the SEMA Show will not take place in 2020.

While both event organizers and industry members worked tirelessly to deliver an outstanding Show, mounting uncertainty has rendered continuing with the event inadvisable. SEMA expects the decision will bring much-needed clarity to an uncertain picture and will help exhibitors, attendees and partners plan accordingly.

Recent SEMA Show survey results indicated interest in a possible virtual trade show with related live elements. SEMA will work with industry members to determine interest levels on specific alternatives.

“The SEMA Show is committed to furthering businesses in the automotive specialty-equipment market, and to providing manufacturers and buyers with the best opportunity to connect, promote new products and discover new trends,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “We appreciate the spirit, hard work and innovation our industry puts into the SEMA Show each year. While we are disappointed circumstances prevent us from hosting the Show in November, we look forward to getting everyone together in 2021 for another outstanding event.”

Full refunds for SEMA Show exhibitor booth deposits and attendee registration fees will be issued. Updates will be posted to

Industry Indicators
Despite economic headwinds, the automotive specialty-equipment industry remains relatively healthy overall, with over 75% of industry professionals expressing confidence in their companies’ future, according to the SEMA’s latest market research.

SEMA Industry Indicators: U.S. Economy Continues to Slowly Recover

The U.S. economy is recovering, but it will take time before the levels of production, output and economic activity enjoyed prior to the onset of the pandemic return, according to the June 2020 “SEMA Industry Indicators Report.”

April appears to have marked the bottom of the economic downturn. Economic indicators such as consumer spending and new-vehicle sales showed a strong bounce-back in May and continued to improve in June. However, other metrics such as unemployment will take much longer to recover.

Data further shows that Americans have money to spend and are putting their money in savings at a higher rate. Savings represents pent-up demand among consumers that will return once confidence and clarity about the current situation is more certain. Additionally, the state of the automotive specialty-equipment industry remains relatively strong. Among a survey of 1,800 industry professionals, 88% reported “business as usual” or that their companies were impacted short term but will get through it.

Want more information on the trends affecting the specialty-equipment industry? Download the July “SEMA Industry Indicators Report,” now available for free at

Produced at FCA’s Cento facility in Italy, the new 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 will produce 260 hp and 442 lb.-ft. of torque in the ’21 Gladiator pickup.

Jeep Adding EcoDiesel Engine for Gladiator Pickup

Jeep announced that the new 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 engine rated at 260 hp and 442 lb.-ft. of torque, with engine stop-start technology standard, is available on Gladiator Sport, Overland and Rubicon models. To handle greater torque loads, the EcoDiesel V6 connects to a newly added TorqueFlite 8HP75 eight-speed automatic transmission.

Jeep Gladiator EcoDiesel Sport, Overland and Rubicon models feature third-generation Dana 44 front and rear heavy-duty axles. Additionally, all Gladiator EcoDiesel models feature a 3.73:1 axle ratio. The Rock-Trac two-speed transfer case with a 4.0:1 low-range gear ratio is standard on Rubicon models, and the Command-Trac part-time two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range
gear ratio is standard on Sport and Overland models.

The new engine employs the latest turbocharging technology, including a new-generation water-cooled turbocharger with variable geometry turbine and low-friction bearings. High-pressure (29,000 psi/2,000 bar) direct-injection fuel-injector nozzles increase power and efficiency, reducing fuel consumption.

A new 5.1-gal. diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank is located immediately behind the fuel tank, with refill location next to the diesel fuel filler. DEF refills align with oil changes lasting up to 10,000 mi. Levels are monitored via a new DEF gauge in the front cluster.

The 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 is produced at the FCA Cento facility in Ferrara, Italy.

Oracle Lighting
Oracle Lighting announced that it successfully defended its intellectual property rights regarding the Vector LED Grille by winning its legal battle against a Chinese-based manufacturer of imitation products.

Chinese Court Sides With Oracle Lighting in Case Against Counterfeit Producers in China

Oracle Lighting announced that it successfully defended its intellectual property rights by recently winning its legal battle against a Chinese-based manufacturer of imitation products.

“Shortly after we unveiled our Vector LED Grille System at a trade show in 2017, Chinese knock-offs began appearing,” explained Justin Hartenstein, director of product development at Oracle Lighting. “After nearly a year of work designing and developing this product, it was honestly heartbreaking to find knockoff products pop up online.”

The decision was issued on June 28, 2020, by the Intellectual Property Division of the Suzhou Intermediate People’s Court. The court also ordered that the defendant pay significant monetary damages to Oracle Lighting and ordered that the defendant pay certain court costs associated with the litigation. In doing so, the court also rejected the defendant’s arguments that they had come up with the design for this particular grille prior to Oracle Lighting filing its design patent application.

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