SEMA Show week was jam-packed with valuable education sessions, each targeting a different demographic but with the same goal in mind—to help attendees to improve their business operations and run them more efficiently.
The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit once again showcased a variety of new vehicles we’ll see coming down assembly lines in the next six to 12 months. And while there was a lot of chatter on future trends such as autonomous vehicles and ride sharing at this year’s show, it was the latest sheetmetal and a peek under the hood that everyone wanted to see and touch. With that, here’s what the aftermarket should expect and be gearing up for in the not-too-distant future.
In what has become an annual tradition, Omix-ADA recently unveiled a project Jeep built in support of SEMA Cares, the association’s program benefitting children’s charities. The debut took place at the recent 50th anniversary SEMA Show in Las Vegas. After its unveiling at SEMA Central, the vehicle served as a dramatic conversation piece, raising vital awareness for SEMA Cares charitable efforts within the automotive aftermarket.
The SEMA Battle of the Builders (BOTB) has become one of the top competitions in the custom-car builder community, with more high-quality entries than ever. Interest in this year’s edition was at an all-time high, with more than 250 vehicles entered from all market segments, including trucks, hot rods, street rods, off-road, motorsports, sport compacts, luxury exotics and more. New this year was the Young Guns distinction for builders who were 34 years old and under. The competition was open to any builder with a display, feature or booth vehicle at the SEMA Show.
The concept of SEMA’s Launch Pad competition, powered by the Young Executives Network (YEN), has always been to identify and engage the next generation of industry leaders. Modeled after television competitions that offer young businesses a chance to win backing for their proposals, the SEMA program provides up-and-coming entrepreneurs with guidance and a platform for their ventures. The fourth annual competition in 2016 followed suit, albeit with a number of format adjustments that were intended to extend benefits to more of the finalists.
The annual Global Tire Expo (GTE), powered by the Tire Industry Association (TIA) and held in conjunction with the recent 2016 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, again drew large crowds as it continued to build on its three-pronged mission of education, industry advocacy and professionalism.
The SEMA Battle of the Builders competition has grown by leaps and bounds, and interest in this year’s edition was at an all-time high, thanks in part to more than 250 vehicles that were entered and the new Young Guns distinction for builders who were 34 years old and under.
Every SEMA Show vehicle has a story, but few intertwine the themes of mentorship, industry knowhow, teamwork and inspiration as compellingly as Project Underdog, a student-customized ’72 Ford Maverick built under the tutelage of actor Sung Kang. Sponsored by Shell, featuring Pennzoil, and supported by Ford Motor Company, Samsung, Nitto, GReddy, Rocket Bunny and Facebook, the unique vehicle venture was completed at the SEMA Garage in Diamond Bar, California, just days before its official unveiling at the recent 50th anniversary SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
As we have come to expect, the Show offered both the original and the improved, the ingenious and the astonishing, and it housed an unprecedented array of business possibilities and enlightening educational opportunities. Too, the Show this year was tinged with nostalgia and memories of the past, even as it was rich in optimism for the future.
More than 2,400 exhibitors from the 2016 SEMA Show voted to determine this year’s SEMA Award winners—a forward-looking honor that identifies the exhibitors’ choices about the hottest new and emerging vehicles and guides consumers toward the most accessory-friendly platforms on the market. For 2016, Ford and MOPAR were chosen as the two most popular OEMs, with Ford winning in three categories and MOPAR winning the remaining two.