New Products Rally At SEMA 50th Anniversary Show

By T.Murrali

The focus of SEMA Show 2016, the trade show organised by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), was new products. Over 3,000 new products were presented at the recently-concluded show in Las Vegas, USA.
SEMA Show continues to have high quality exhibitors, Chris Kersting, President and CEO of SEMA, said. In order to maintain credibility, the organisers have insisted on the participants to have demonstration of products that are relevant to the speciality equipment aftermarket buyers, he said.
The SEMA performance pavilion gave opportunities for even the smaller companies to demonstrate their products. SEMA that celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, is a non-profit trade association founded in 1963. Since the first SEMA Show in 1967, the annual event has served as the leading venue bringing together manufacturers and buyers within the automotive specialty equipment industry. Products featured at the SEMA Show included those that enhance the styling, functionality, comfort, convenience and safety of cars and trucks.
SEMA Central area, the designated place for the organisation highlights several support systems to its members. For instance, it has a new product development centre that helps members to deal with the complexities of technologies on the present day vehicles. Besides, it helps them learn several techniques including rapid prototyping, 3D, emissions lab etc.
SEMA Ignited threw a great opportunity for the builders and restorers of vehicle who had participated in the show. It created an incredible cruise for the vehicles to roll on, for the visitors to see and hear they perform. It was fun to witness the convoy as the vintage vehicles vanguard the relatively new ones. Some of the vehicles that participated include over 80 years vintage but still in pristine condition.
As part of the show, SEMA announced the winners of the 2017 New Products Showcase Awards. The awards were given to the most innovative and cutting-edge automotive aftermarket products that will be consumable in 2017.
More than 3,000 products were entered into 16 different showcase categories to be considered for the SEMA New Product Awards this year. Winners were selected based on a host of factors, including quality, marketability, innovation, technology, consumer appeal, and others.
The winner in the collision repair & refinish product was Drew Technologies Inc., for its Remote Assisted Programming (RAP); the winner in the engineered new product category was Any Level Lift while the exterior accessory product award was bestowed on FX Products for the bull bar with double row LED light bar. The award for interior accessory product was for Lokar Inc., for its muscle car shifter knob adapter. Putco Inc. won the merchandising display award for its blade LED tailgate / light bar POP display.
Other award winners were: Iron Cross Automotive (off-road/4-wheel drive product), Pearl Automation (mobile electronics product award and packaging design), COMP Performance Group (performance-racing product & performance-street product), RIGID Chase (power sports product), ididit LLC (street rod/custom car product), Continental Tire (tyre and related product) TrailerLegs (tools and equipment product), Truck Hero (van/pickup/sport-utility product) and BBS of America (wheel and related product)

Vehicle Models

The top trending vehicle models in five categories were announced at the 2016 SEMA Show. Selected by manufacturing exhibitors of the world’s premier automotive trade show, the SEMA award winners were the Ford Mustang as the Hottest Coupe, the Dodge Charger as the Hottest Sedan, the Ford Focus as the Hottest Hatch, the Jeep Wrangler as the hottest 4×4-SUV, and the Ford F-Series as the Hottest Truck.
“The SEMA Show is the place where the newest and most innovative aftermarket products debut; and the SEMA Show exhibitors are the innovators and visionaries who help guide future trends in the industry,” Kersting said. More than 2,400 exhibitors from the 2016 SEMA Show voted to determine what vehicle model is the hottest new and emerging vehicle. Winning vehicles help guide consumers toward the hottest-trending and most accessory-friendly vehicles on the market.

Battle Of The Builders

Now in its third year, the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition announced the top 21 builders. Open only to vehicles displayed at the SEMA Show, the competition featured the best builders in the United States who come to SEMA to win the coveted title of the ultimate builder. The competition recognises the builders the aftermarket community considers best. Unique to Battle of the Builders, the competition includes all vehicle makes. From hot rods, to exotics, to sport compact vehicles to trucks and SUVs, builders demonstrate their amazing craftsmanship on customised vehicles at the show and participate in the competition.
New this year is the ‘young guns’ distinction for builders who are 34 years old and under. The new category recognises up-and-coming builders from across the country. This year, 98 Battle of the Builders’ entries were recognised as a ‘young gun.’ This year, vehicle builders and car customisers from across the US submitted more than 250 vehicles for consideration in the annual competition. The vehicles were judged by industry experts and they reviewed each entry and narrowed the selection to the top builds in four different categories: Hot Rod, Sport, Compact, and Off-Road. The jury selected the top 10 finalists and they were announced at the Velocity Live stage. These ten finalists, chosen by the judges, represent the best of the best in the industry. The builders of the top 10 contenders voted among themselves to decide the ultimate winner, which is the 1969 Chevy Camaro.

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