Feature vehicles were displayed inside the 2017 SEMA Show HRIA reception. The highly anticipated annual event attracts hundreds of the most prominent people in the industry.
The Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) Feature Vehicle Program is designed to bring attention to and highlight the works of builders in the hot-rod industry. Each year, 10 builders are selected to have their one-of-a-kind projects featured at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Three vehicles are displayed in the shared ARMO/HRIA booth located in Hot Rod Alley within Central Hall, and six are displayed at the banquet hall where the well-attended HRIA reception is held. One final vehicle is stationed in an alternate position that also gets plenty of foot traffic.
The Feature Vehicle Program has proven to be a great career jump-start for many builders who have participated in the program. Due to the high visibility and opportunities for media exposure at the Show, builders have been recognized with the industry’s top awards, including the Ford Best of Show Award, the Gran Turismo Award, the GM Design Award, and other accolades that allow for additional exposure and recognition.
Josh Henning of Roadster Shop has been involved with HRIA since he was with Goolsby Customs in 2009 and they submitted a build to the Feature Vehicle Program. Now a select-committee member, Henning sees the benefits of the Feature Vehicle Program as well as the benefits of being involved with the HRIA.
“We had a ’67 Chevelle in 2009, and it really launched things from there, career-wise,” Henning said. “HRIA was completely new to us, and we joined at that point. It’s a win-win.”
Feature Vehicle Program Highlights Aftermarket Manufacturers
Besides helping up-and-coming builders put their businesses on the map, the Feature Vehicle Program also helps parts manufacturers. The high visibility of the featured vehicles means that their individual aftermarket parts receive plenty of attendee attention and media exposure. The eye-catching vehicle builds are handpicked by the HRIA select committee to highlight the vastness of the aftermarket and the variety of products available for building and restoring vehicles.
HRIA is dedicated to addressing the challenges facing the hot-rod segment of the automotive aftermarket and to preserving and promoting that part of the industry. HRIA’s primary objectives are to ensure the future prosperity of the hot-rod industry and to advance and promote awareness of the hobby. Within that context, HRIA focuses on industry-specific issues, developing effective strategies and programs that will assist members in improving their business practices and procedures.
HRIA also works with its legislative staff to address those legislative and/or regulatory matters that may affect the hot-rod industry and provides a forum for community building at the HRIA booth located in Hot Rod Alley at the SEMA Show, which allows member companies to take advantage of new business and marketing opportunities.
All entities serving the hot-rod market, be they manufacturers, builders, fabricators, dealers, car clubs or enthusiast publications, may benefit from getting involved with HRIA. Once involved with the council, members work through subcommittees to focus on the group’s educational, legislative and communications needs, as well as membership and promotional activities.
The HRIA invites all members of the hot-rod industry to unite in meeting its critical goals. To become active in HRIA, your company must first be a SEMA member. If you are already a SEMA member, contact Jim Skelly at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.