Furthering SEMA’s interest in identifying young, creative leaders and supporting entrepreneurial initiatives, the Young Executives Network (YEN) has produced the Launch Pad competition for the past five years. Through each stage of the competition, the program teaches participants how to evaluate their markets, communicate the benefits of their products, and market them effectively.
Despite sporadic gas prices across the country, Americans’ love affair with their trucks is stronger than ever, and so is brand loyalty among consumers. The light-duty truck market is heating up as Chevrolet, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) revealed new models from their clandestine design and engineering arsenals at Detroit’s 2018 North American International Auto Show. That event in the Motor City is basically in the backyard of the domestic OEMs. GM, Ford and FCA may feel that they have home-court advantage, but it’s anyone’s game in this ongoing battle for pickup supremacy.
For many in the custom-car industry, the SEMA Battle of the Builders is a chance to prove that they are among the best. The 2017 competition began with nearly 300 applications from builders representing an elite group of individuals who have demonstrated extreme talent, creativity and craftsmanship in modifying cars, trucks and SUVs. The field was not only the largest to date but was also deep in entries of exceptional quality. This year also saw the expansion of the Young Guns recognition, which shines the light on young, up-and-coming builders in the automotive industry.
Among the throngs of international journalists who traveled to the 2017 SEMA Show from around the world were representatives from 27 top enthusiast media from 17 countries who were invited to serve as judges for the Global Media Awards (GMA). These print, digital and broadcast media were charged with the task of identifying up to 10 products each from the more than 3,000 products in the New Products Showcase that they believed would best resonate in their home markets.
With an overall emphasis on advanced safety technologies and efficiency improvements, the LA Auto Show set the stage for new-model debuts and concept vehicles from top OEMs. Here’s a look at what’s new and specifically relevant for the specialty-equipment market.
A partnership now eight years in the making, WD-40 Co. and SEMA Cares have again teamed to create a one-of-a-kind build, with SEMA Cares’ partner charities—Childhelp and the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund—as the beneficiaries. Over the years, WD-40 has produced vehicles representing a variety of niches, partnering with automotive aftermarket companies to help turn ideas into reality.
The annual Global Tire Expo (GTE), powered by the Tire Industry Association (TIA), ran within the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. As it does every year, the GTE brought in large crowds as it continued to build on its mission to further its goals of education, industry advocacy and professionalism.
Now in its eighth year, the SEMA Award returns to illuminate the vehicles that SEMA Show parts and accessory manufacturers deem the hottest and most specialty-equipment-friendly. The award recognizes new and emerging trends while also guiding consumers to the most accessory-friendly vehicles in the marketplace.
A new episode of the TV special “SEMA: Battle of the Builders,” based on the competition held during the 2017 SEMA Show, will premiere on the Velocity Channel on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Since 2015, the unique one-hour program has aired on the network, giving viewers a rare behind-the-scenes look at the SEMA Show, up-close footage of the vehicles, and exclusive interviews with builders as they share their personal stories and journey to the world’s premier automotive trade show.
More than 3,000 automotive aftermarket professionals gathered on day three of the 2017 SEMA Show for the industry’s preeminent awards ceremony, the SEMA Industry Awards Banquet, held at the Westgate Hotel in Las Vegas. The annual Thursday-evening banquet is where specialty-equipment business is set aside for a moment to allow innovators, leaders and legends to take center stage as they are recognized for their contributions to the $42 billion industry.