Cover Story

The SEMA Person of the Year award is among the most prestigious of the honors announced each year at the SEMA Show Industry Awards Banquet. Beyond any personal or professional achievements, the award recognizes an individual who embodies service and dedication to the automotive specialty-equipment industry for the benefit of the entire aftermarket. At the recent ceremonies held Thursday night, November 7, at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, the association named Dan Kahn, founder of Kahn Media, its 2019 SEMA Person of the Year.


  • WheelsWheels and tires are more than utilitarian objects. The right combination can enhance a vehicle’s performance, increase safety and stability, and even make a fashion statement. All that and more have made them popular aftermarket replacements or upgrades for consumers. Unfortunately, many resellers felt a slowdown in these categories last year. But what caused that slackening in the market? How widespread is it? What might it signal for the future?

Chris Kersting

  • Chris Kersting

    For several years now, SEMA and our industry members have been working to build the industry’s most comprehensive and useful digital product data resource. The SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) now houses, updates and distributes product data for more than 480 active brands. And industry companies—both suppliers and resellers—are joining the SDC at an unprecedented pace. There is no single reason why, but a culmination of several factors that make the SDC increasingly vital to the industry. If you haven’t gotten on board, now’s the time.


  • Global Tire ExpoTIA is a nonprofit organization, and its mission is to promote tire safety through education and training, to act as the tire industry’s principal advocate in legislative affairs, and to represent the industry at public and industry events such as the SEMA Show. TIA offers training and certification courses in automotive, commercial, earthmover and farm tire service, and more than 150,000 technicians have completed TIA coursework to date.

  • Launch PadSEMA Launch Pad Presented by YEN started in 2013 as a partnership between SEMA Education and the Young Executives Network (YEN). The goal was to promote entrepreneurship in the automotive aftermarket by giving young innovators and builders a chance to showcase their products before a panel of industry experts at the SEMA Show. Out of hundreds of aspirants, a short-list of 10 is selected to appear at the SEMA Show. From that group, five finalists are chosen to pitch their products in person at a dedicated event in Las Vegas.

  • LA Auto ShowA number of new models and concepts were unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November, revealing ’20 model-year vehicles and concepts intended to signal the directions automakers are considering for the future. The L.A. Show, the first major show of the new-car season, tends to focus on electric-vehicle (EV) technology and clean-energy vehicles and has added programs intended to be a catalyst for industry progress. Of the 65 vehicles that made their debuts on media days, 25 were from global brands, and more than 1,000 new models were on display on the show floor when the event opened for consumers.

From The Hill

  • Assembly Member GraysonCalifornia Assembly Member Tim Grayson was announced as the winner of the Stephen B. McDonald Legislator of the Year award at the 2019 SEMA Show. Representing California’s 14th District, Assembly Member Grayson was recognized for his efforts in the state’s legislature to promote policies and legislation that support the automotive aftermarket industry.

Industry News

  • Silverado ZRX Mule: Reports have been circulating that Chevrolet was working on an off-road version of the new Silverado called the ZRX.

    Nissan 370 Z: A test mule for today’s 370 Z successor was caught undergoing high-speed testing recently at the German Nürburgring. 

    Subaru BRZ: The BRZ has received another makeover.

    ’21 Jeep Wagoneer: The Wagoneer will compete with the Ford Expedition and GMC Yukon.

  • Industry news from SEMA-member companies, including Daystar Products International, AirPro Diagnostics LLC, Yokohama Tire and more.

  • Market ResearchEighty-three percent of automotive specialty-equipment retailers report stable or growing sales in recent years, dispelling reports of a “retailpocalypse” and showing that the more than 3,000 SEMA-member retailers are primed for continued growth, according to the new “SEMA Retail Landscape Research Report.”


New Products

  • Fury IAmong 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.

  • Trail Blae MTSAmong 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.

Required Reading

  • Expedition

    The all-new SEMA Overland Experience at the 2019 SEMA Show enabled buyers to see products and vehicles developed specifically for overlanding, a growing adventure travel lifestyle that has taken off in the United States during the past decade. The new exhibition was housed in the Performance Pavilion at the Las Vegas Convention Center and featured dozens of customized vehicles with fully popped-out tents, sunshades outfitted for survival and portable kitchen systems—all displayed alongside exhibitors supporting the overlanding market. As evidenced by the coverage below, the new feature was a big hit.

SEMA Heritage

  • HeritageAt first glance, this Motor Trend photo from 1959 looks like a very strange comparison test. Who would be cross-shopping a Volkswagen Beetle and a Corvette? And what’s that third vehicle hiding behind the other two?