Among car and truck enthusiasts, tires and wheels are often among the first modifications they’re likely to make to their rides, and it makes sense: New rims and rubber can instantly improve a vehicle’s ride, handling and performance characteristics, they can provide an aesthetic upgrade to nearly any vehicle, and in most cases they’re relatively easy to install.
Among automotive enthusiasts, few components stir as much discussion and inspire as much brand loyalty as tires. Tires are such a huge and influential segment of the automotive aftermarket—comprising an estimated $2.46 billion in sales last year, according to the latest “SEMA Market Report”—they warrant their very own floor (along with their companion wheels) at the Las Vegas Convention Center for the annual SEMA Show.
SEMA Show New Products Showcase spotlight.
SEMA News Product & Catalog Showcase, November 2019.
Vehicle restoration is a time-honored tradition among automotive enthusiasts, and the aftermarket makes it all possible. Whether returning a classic to its pristine showroom condition or reinvigorating it as a restomod, the right products from the right manufacturers make all the difference. The 2018 SEMA Show featured a robust-as-ever restoration market with leading exhibitors in the category introducing a wide range of innovations to buyers in the New Products Showcase. The following pages highlight those Showcase products, along with some helpful observations from industry experts about current trends impacting the category.
Tools might be the aftermarket items most taken for granted, left on a shop floor to gather dust or tossed in a grimy parts bin. Yet they’re certainly among the most important everyday shop components because they allow fabricators and customizers to transform their vehicular visions into reality. Whether they’re cutting, clamping, wrenching, riveting, lifting, measuring, monitoring or performing a thousand other tasks, tools and equipment are the workhorses of any shop, and having the right one at hand is essential for any dedicated builder.
It may be the one segment of the automotive aftermarket that no enthusiast ever really wants to get too acquainted with, but it’s one of the most essential and one of the most universally patronized. Specifically, it’s the collision-repair sector—the companies and shops that manufacture and apply the paints, finishes and replacement bodywork that can transform a dinged-up road casualty into a like-new machine.
Technological advancements in restyling and car-care products and accessories enable this sector of the automotive aftermarket to continue to thrive. The launch of new vehicle models and the shift from smaller cars to trucks and SUVs provide additional opportunities for customization. In order to survive in this marketplace, manufacturers must be innovative and keep up with the latest trends and evolving vehicle technology.
Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), including radar blind-spot detection, backup cameras, driver connectivity and collision and lane-departure avoidance systems, continue to gain momentum in the $1.5 billion mobile-electronics industry. These technologies are not only being offered in new vehicles; aftermarket manufacturers have also adapted products to fit many older vehicles that are already on the road.
Their origins may lie in car culture’s distant past, but hot rodding and performance street building remain as fresh as ever in the Age of Mobility. Dozens of cutting-edge, rodding-related products are rolled out each year at the SEMA Show, and sponsored programs such as SEMA’s Battle of the Builders and Young Guns have helped to attract a new generation of builders with its own unique take on the craft of hot rodding.