Three new vehicles and one new Hybrid vehicle were recipients of the 2007 SEMA Vehicle Design Awards announced today at the SEMA Show. The awards honor the most accessory-friendly vehicles of the year in four separate categories: Car, Truck, SUV and Hybrid. The Nissan Titan took top honors in the Truck category, the Cadillac CTS won in the Car category and the Hummer H2 won in the SUV category. The newest award for the most accessory-friendly Hybrid vehicle went to the Chevrolet Tahoe.
Wade Kawasaki, president of Avanche Corporation and long-time SEMA member, was presented with the 2007 SEMA Person of the Year Award.
"I'm very honored to be recognized by SEMA and my peers," Kawasaki said. "This industry has been such a big part of my life and my involvement with SEMA has enabled me to advance important industry initiatives, help guide and develop the growth of the next generation of leaders, and build some great relationships along the way."
Each year the SEMA Show recognizes products that set new standards for innovation and imagination. Following are the winners of the SEMA New Product Awards:
Best New Interior Accessory Product
Winner: PLX Devices Inc. – OBD Organic LED Gauge
Runner Up: Spotlight
Runner Up: Plasmaglow
During his Keynote Luncheon address to 2007 SEMA Show attendees, Toyota’s truck/SUV marketing chief outlined four ways that specialty-equipment businesses can join the automaker’s aggressive accessories strategy.
“There is significant opportunity for SEMA members to be part of our growth,” said Brian Smith, Toyota Corporate Marketing Manager, Toyota Trucks and SUVs, starting with becoming a supplier for Toyota, Lexus or Scion Genuine Accessories. Smith says Toyota has over 80 supplier partners.
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For urban-lifestyle enthusiasts—those who favor today’s flashy Cadillacs and Chryslers, among other machines—audio and video systems are just as important to their automotive personality as the 22-inch wheels, window tint and exhaust kits they purchase.
According to SEMA research, amplifiers are the most popular piece of A/V gear that urban-lifestyle enthusiasts buy; 59.4% of survey respondents saying that they owned one. Subwoofers (58.6%) and midrange speaker/component sets (54%) followed.
A new study conducted by PPG Industries shows that silver is the new favorite exterior color with North American car buyers, with 22% preferring it to the next closest favorite, white (19%). The popularity of silver is dipping slightly, down 2% from last year, while black—the third favorite at 15%—gained two points. Rounding out the top colors are red (13%), blue (12%), naturals (10%), other/niche market colors (6%) and green (5%).
SEMA research shows that the street-rod and custom market grew retail sales 66% in the past decade (1997–2006), just beating out the thriving restoration marketplace's 65% retail performance in the same period. The street-rod market encompasses highly-modified vehicles used for street travel and show based on body types originally manufactured prior to 1949, according to Jim Spoonhower, SEMA vice president of market research.