Cover Story

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.


Business Technology

  • SDC LogoWith the new year upon us and the hectic fall schedule of shows and holidays behind us, now is a great time to revisit the fundamentals of product data management.

  • The SEMA Data Co-op has become “data central” for hundreds of specialty parts brands, representing millions of part numbers, and tens of millions of vehicle applications. This directory is designed to guide data users to brands that have successfully undertaken the challenge to manage their product data, and to continue to expand reference as more brands are added to the SDC repository.

Chris Kersting

  • Chris KerstingThe 50th anniversary SEMA Show brought resounding confirmation that the original idea was good back then and perhaps even better today. For many of us, this year’s Show was a mix of past and present, of new beginnings and a moment to pause and consider memories from years past—all within the greater understanding that the our industry trade week in Las Vegas is about important business in the years ahead.


  • Project UnderdogEvery 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.


  • The 2016 SEMA AwardMore 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.

  • Honda Civic SiThe 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, now rebranded as Auto Mobility LA, maintained emphasis on mobility and technology integration in a modern world, meaning that media attendees were exposed to many ways to avoid owning or driving cars. Be that as it may, many automakers introduced new and improved models to the public, and quite a few of the debuts could be of interest to aftermarket manufacturers and enthusiast consumers. Here’s a glimpse of what specialty-equipment manufacturers can look forward to in the next year.

  • And the Honors Go ToNo retrospective of 2016 SEMA Show highlights would be complete without the annual SEMA Industry Awards Banquet. Taking up the 50th anniversary Show theme, “We Built This,” the Thursday-evening event celebrated standout leaders who exemplify the passion and drive for excellence at the heart of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Emceed by Dennis Pittsenbarger and Jessi Combs, the evening also featured entertainment by comedian Larry the Cable Guy, known for his catchphrase “Git-R-Done” as well as his voice work as Mater in the animated films Cars and Cars 2.

From The Hill

  • Southern CharmLike many in the automotive aftermarket industry, Herman, Liz and Tray Smith founded H&H Classic Parts after spending many years in the auto service and repair business. Located in Bentonville, Arkansas, H&H shares a passion with neighboring Walmart in providing consumers with a one-stop shopping venue.

Government Affairs

  • Alibaba and CounterfeitingSEMA submitted a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) requesting Alibaba be included on the 2016 Notorious Markets List, which is used to identify markets based outside the United States that are known to facilitate copyright piracy or trademark counterfeiting. Alibaba is consistently identified by SEMA members as a market used by counterfeiters to move large volumes of unauthorized knockoff products. As stated in SEMA’s letter, “it appears that Alibaba has failed to adopt a business model committed to the distribution and sale of licensed or legitimate products.” The USTR is expected to publish its most recent Notorious Markets List by the end of 2016.

Industry News

  • Industry news from SEMA-member companies, including Skyjacker, Gale Banks Engineering, Remington Industries, The Marx Group, Flex-a-lite LLC and more.

  • Journalists are invited to sit down in private, uninterrupted meetings with representatives from top motorsports parts producers during the 2017 Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) Media Trade Conference. The conference, taking place Tuesday–Thursday, January 24–26, 2017, at the Embassy Suites Orange County Airport North in Santa Ana, California, features companies that are members of SEMA’s MPMC.

  • 2018 Ford Mustang Convertible: The Mustang will get some minor changes for 2018 to keep it fresh after its comprehensive redo in 2015.

    ’18 RAM 1500 Mega Cab: FCA is working overtime to get the next-generation RAM out.

    Dodge Challenger ADR Prototype: Adding more derivatives to the Challenger family, Dodge is set to introduce a wide-body Hellcat next year.


  • Vehicle Customization in ChinaQian Guohui bought his first Jeep—a Compass—in 2010. The model choice was dictated by his wife’s tastes. But Guohui hankered after a tougher-looking Jeep, and he wanted to go off-road. In 2014, with his wife’s blessing, he bought a Jeep Wrangler.

New Products

  • 2016 SEMA Show New ProductsEvery year, the New Products Showcase serves as a resource for manufacturers to advertise their latest and greatest innovations. One of the top SEMA Show attractions for buyers and media alike, it’s no surprise that the number of entries this year surpassed 3,000 in 16 categories ranging from street-performance, racing and off-roading to mobile-electronics, interior and exterior products.

Required Reading

  • Hot Rod MagIn only three years, the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition, held annually during the SEMA Show, 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 into the competition and the new Young Guns distinction for builders who were 34 years old and under, this year’s contest generated plenty of media coverage (see the samples below) and will again be showcased in its own hour-long TV special that will air February 6, 2017, on the Velocity Network.

SEMA Heritage

  • America's Most Beautiful Roadster TwiceFew cars have won the coveted America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) trophy twice, but Bob Reisner’s wild custom, called the Invader, did just that 50—and 49—years ago.