International Buyers from 130 countries descended on the 2019 SEMA Show, walking the aisles to find products that would resonate well with their customers back home and to see the latest trends in customizing. Networking with the more than 20% of buyers residing overseas features high on the list of priorities of exhibitors. Global recognition of their products from a panel of international journalists is a sought-after recognition and serves to assist companies in identifying promising export markets. The SEMA Show organizes a number of programs and resources to assist in making those connections.
Sometimes people come together for a special cause and create something extraordinary. SEMA Garage, WD-40 and many others in the industry came together in order to create a custom ’66 Ford Bronco that will be auctioned off to benefit Childhelp later in the year. Childhelp is an organization dedicated to closing the cycle of child abuse in the United States by helping victims and those at risk.
Traditionally taking place Thursday night at the SEMA Show, the SEMA Industry Awards Banquet honors industry innovators, volunteers and personalities who make significant contributions toward the advancement of the automotive specialty-equipment aftermarket. Themed “How Do You SEMA?” and emceed by automotive television and podcast personality Kevin Oeste and motorsports announcer Jarod DeAnda, the 2019 banquet was held November 7 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.
The New Products Showcase is routinely the number-one destination for SEMA Show buyers and media, giving participating exhibitors a distinct advantage in getting their products out to the world. The 2019 SEMA Show surpassed 3,000 products across 16 different categories, including street-performance, racing, off-roading, mobile-electronics and exterior and interior products. Three of the 16 categories were won by first-time exhibitors, indicating that the industry is healthy and continuing to grow.
Each year before the start of the SEMA Show, exhibitors are polled on the new vehicles that, to their minds, represent the best business opportunities for customization and accessorization via the aftermarket for the coming year. Vehicles are chosen in five distinct classes, and the winners are announced ahead of the start of the Show. This year’s announcement was made on Monday, November 4, before the first day of the 2019 SEMA Show. The winners are:
Mike and Jim Ring of Ringbrothers of Spring Green, Wisconsin, captured the top prize at the sixth annual SEMA Battle of the Builders competition at the 2019 SEMA Show, held November 5–8 in Las Vegas. The announcement was made at SEMA Ignited, the official SEMA Show after-party designed to celebrate the builders and showcase products from the trade-only Show.
About 500 members of the automotive specialty-parts industry attended the 2019 SEMA Installation & Gala, themed “Recognizing Leaders and Legends,” at the Anaheim Marriott in Anaheim, California, on July 26, to pay tribute to the specialty-equipment industry’s pioneers and dedicated volunteers.
The future seems bright for the 41 high-school teams competing to be a part of the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow (HROT) Engine Challenge Elite Eight playoff rounds. The finalists last year secured $3.78 million in scholarships. The competition gives students the opportunity to begin careers in the automotive industry; scholarships are just one of the benefits. During the competition, they are exposed to potential future employers and industry experts at a young age. That opens the door to various opportunities in the automotive trade.
From cars to stars, part of the annual SEMA Show excitement is the opportunity to meet celebrities and industry heroes amid the vast array of iconic vehicles displayed throughout the Las Vegas Convention Center. This year, the Show will again draw a slew of famous personalities from both motorsports and the entertainment media who are eager to interact with Show attendees. The following are scheduled appearances for this year’s Show, with listings current as of September 16, 2019. Visit the listed booths for updates and to confirm times.
The ability of car enthusiasts to enhance their vehicles—regardless of the year, make or model—is constantly challenged by new laws and regulations. Allies are needed on all fronts. During the 2019 SEMA Show, you can boost your industry’s political horsepower by stopping by the Members Lounge (Room N251 in the Las Vegas Convention Center) and supporting SEMA’s Political Action Committee (PAC) and the SEMA Action Network (SAN).