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The Racing & Performance section of the SEMA Show is the largest on the floorplan, completely taking over the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center each year.

In 2012, a total of 507 exhibitors set up booths, entering a vast array of their latest offerings into the Ideas Alive, featuring the New Products Showcase. The following pages represent more than 500 of the new and featured products that exhibitors registered in the Showcase. Along with the products, journalist Steve Campbell interviewed industry executives to get their thoughts about the trends they perceive and some words of advice about what might lie ahead.

Wheels & Accessories New Products

Wheel manufacturers continue to innovate with attention-grabbing designs, vibrant colors and exotic finishes. Striking a delicate balance between style, fitment and overall performance—nearly 200 exhibitors unveiled their latest creations at this year’s Show.

The following products spotlight innovations from Wheels & Accessories section exhibitors, as seen in the 2012 SEMA Show New Products Showcase.

Highlights From the Los Angeles Auto Show

The Los Angeles Auto Show has a reputation as a “green car” event that skews heavily toward advanced technology. This year’s show was consistent with that image, but there were more than a few debuts of high-volume production vehicles that will matter to SEMA members, along with an unusual number of interesting concept vehicles that may point the way to the future. Here are some that caught our eye.

Tire Segment Shows Its Strength

For the third year in a row, the Tire Industry Association (TIA) allied with SEMA to present the Global Tire Expo (GTE)—Powered by TIA at the recent 2012 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Designed as a freestanding tire industry “show within a show,” the GTE has proven to be an ongoing hit with attendees representing every sector of the tire industry, from automotive to commercial and from retreading to recycling.

The 2012 SEMA Award

The Hottest Vehicles of the 2012 SEMA Show

The SEMA Award was established to recognize vehicle models that specialty-equipment manufacturers believe are the best platforms for accessorization and that showcase the year’s coolest products. The honors have been presented in four categories each year since 2010: Hottest Car, Hottest Sport Compact, Hottest Truck and Hottest 4x4-SUV.

SEMA Unifies Racing Industry Trade Shows

SEMA has finalized an agreement to purchase the International Motorsports Industry Show (IMIS)—the racing trade show that has been held annually in Indianapolis since 2009.

The IMIS will be consolidated with the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show, which returns to Indianapolis for 2013 and beyond. The 2013 PRI Trade Show will occupy the entire Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, with Thursday, Friday and Saturday, December 12–14, 2013, as the show days.

SEMA Show New Product Awards

Winners in 16 Categories From Among More Than 2,000 Entries

The New Products Showcase at the 2012 SEMA Show included more than 2,000 parts, tools, assemblies and packages. The displays encompassed must-see items for every segment of the industry, and each was examined by a panel of expert judges who ranked them for superiority of innovation, technical achievement, quality and workmanship, consumer appeal and marketability. The judges then awarded “best in class” honors to products in 16 categories, along with two runners up in each division. We congratulate not only the winners, but also those who conceive and create all of the innovations that drive the industry.

2012 SEMA Show Highlights

Innovations of Generations Showcased in Las Vegas

As the specialty-equipment industry’s premier trade event, the annual SEMA Show is the number-one barometer of automotive specialty-equipment trends. If anything, the 2012 SEMA Show, held October 30 through November 2 in Las Vegas, indicated a vibrant, growing industry definitely bullish on the future.

Consider these Show statistics: Total attendance rose to 135,000—up 2% over last year. Meanwhile, exhibitors hit the 2,250 mark, with 500 of them being first-timers. There were more than 60,000 buyers plying the Show floor, along with 3,000 media representatives. All in all, the Show offered 1 million net square feet of innovation, education and business opportunities. 

Linking to the Distribution Chain

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“Power Buyers” Reveal How They Find Products

With thousands of buyers in attendance, the SEMA Show offers huge opportunities for exhibitors. The challenge is to forge links in the distribution chain.

Developing a great product is only the first step in creating a successful business. The next is to get that product into the hands of consumers. To do that, manufacturers need to forge links in the distribution chain, moving their products to the warehouse distributors, jobbers and retail outlets that eventually place the parts in the hands of end users.

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Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Strives to Develop Young Talent

Providing young automotive enthusiasts with an opportunity to develop and showcase their talents while being exposed to the automotive aftermarket industry, Hot Rodders of Tomorrow was launched in 2008 at the Race & Performance Expo in St. Charles, Illinois, and has been invited to compete at the SEMA Show every year since its inception. The organization’s goal is to reach out to high-school students before they graduate in order to provide much-needed future talent for the automotive specialty-equipment market.


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