As the domestic auto makers shift away from sedans and coupes, trucks and SUVs dominated the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) held in the heart of Detroit. With less emphasis on autonomous vehicles at this year’s show, many of the manufacturers focused on trucks and SUVs that are powerful, highly capable and technically advanced. Many of them will make great raw material for aftermarket parts manufacturers.
The 2018 SEMA Battle of the Builders competition began with more than 300 vehicles entered by builders and customizers from all across the United States. The entries included vehicles crafted by both well-known, highly acclaimed builders and lesser-known younger customizers. The 2018 format was updated to provide a mechanism to recognize winners in four different categories: Hot Rod, Truck/Off-Road, Sport Compact and Young Guns (under 27).
True to form, the 2018 LA Auto Show—with media days branded “AutoMobility”—showcased the latest technological developments in the arenas of autonomy, safety, connectivity and electrification. More than a dozen OEMs held press conferences ahead of the show’s official opening to the public. Several models and concepts were noteworthy for their customization potential, promising business possibilities for manufacturers of specialty equipment.
For the past few years, the Young Executives Network (YEN) has partnered with SEMA Education to co-host Launch Pad, the premier pitch-style competition for the automotive aftermarket. The event aims to inspire young and future entrepreneurs to pursue their visions and to highlight the strong entrepreneurial spirit running through the core of the industry. As SEMA expands its focus toward younger generations and emerging technologies, the event has grown to fill the Westgate International Theater with an audience comprised of Show attendees and students participating in the SEMA Show Student Program.
The Global Tire Expo at the SEMA Show brings together every element of the tire industry to share ideas and do business. Powered by the Tire Industry Association (TIA), the Global Tire Expo draws attendees from around the world, providing a firsthand look at the latest in trends, technology and products.
For nearly a decade, WD-40 and SEMA Cares have worked together to bring vehicles to auction for the benefit of SEMA Cares’ charitable partner organizations. On January 17, a ’67 Camaro will be auctioned to benefit Childhelp at the Barrett Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. Childhelp is an organization dedicated to closing the cycle of child abuse in the United States by helping victims and those at risk.
A poll is taken of exhibitors every year at the SEMA Show to ascertain which vehicles they feel are the most customizable. The SEMA Award winners that result represent the cars, trucks and SUVs that aftermarket manufacturers are investing in and developing products and accessories for. That allows SEMA to formally recognize the year’s trends and promote synergy between OEMs and the aftermarket.
The top four contestants from SEMA’s 2018 Battle of the Builders competition will be featured along with many other SEMA Show builders in a new episode of the TV special “SEMA: Battle of the Builders.” Hosted by Adrienne “AJ” Janic and racer Tanner Foust, the one-hour special will air on the Motor Trend Network at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on January 7, 2019.
Stunning originality is the hallmark of the largest automotive trade show in the world, which comes to life for a few short days once a year in Las Vegas. Starting with empty halls and bare concrete floors, an estimated 5,000 workers build infrastructure to support thousands of exhibitors, in the process bringing in close to 10 million lbs. of freight. In empty parking lots, hundreds of workers swarm to erect structures.
Since 2008, Hot Rodders of Tomorrow (HROT) has been inspiring young people to lead successful careers in the automotive industry and beyond through its Engine Challenge competition. The final, culminative events took place this year at the SEMA Show and the PRI Trade Show. Teams of high schoolers learn critical life skills such as teamwork, critical thinking, on-the-fly initiative and communication as they tear down and reassemble Chevy 350 engines without power tools. Some of them will go on to become engineers and pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers, and many will join the automotive industry. All of them learn how to be productive and contribute, wherever they end up working.