A new episode of the TV special “SEMA: Battle of the Builders,” based on the competition held during the 2017 SEMA Show, will premiere on the Velocity Channel on Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Since 2015, the unique one-hour program has aired on the network, giving viewers a rare behind-the-scenes look at the SEMA Show, up-close footage of the vehicles, and exclusive interviews with builders as they share their personal stories and journey to the world’s premier automotive trade show.
More than 3,000 automotive aftermarket professionals gathered on day three of the 2017 SEMA Show for the industry’s preeminent awards ceremony, the SEMA Industry Awards Banquet, held at the Westgate Hotel in Las Vegas. The annual Thursday-evening banquet is where specialty-equipment business is set aside for a moment to allow innovators, leaders and legends to take center stage as they are recognized for their contributions to the $42 billion industry.
After 51 years, the SEMA Show has become many things. Once primarily a marketplace for hot-rod parts, the Show has grown to embrace all things automotive, commingling varied tastes, disciplines and business models—all under one roof. It’s the one place in the world where you’ll find a customized Lamborghini sitting next to an outrageous hot rod, flanked by a 1,000hp Camaro and a custom Harley. With 12 distinctly different segments represented, the SEMA Show creates crossover possibilities and an energy far greater than the sum of its parts.
The 2017 SEMA Show kicked-off the morning of October 31, with the New Product Awards. The annual competition recognizes outstanding achievements in the development of products being introduced to the automotive specialty-equipment market at the SEMA Show. Products are judged in 16 award categories, and each category has one winner and two runners-up.
Nearly 500 members of the automotive specialty-equipment industry attended the 2017 SEMA Installation and Gala, themed “Leaders & Legends,” at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center in Pomona, California, July 28, to pay tribute to the specialty-equipment industry’s pioneers and dedicated volunteers.
Hot Rodders of Tomorrow (HROT) has been going strong since its inception in 2008. HROT is a timed competition where teams of five high-school students go head to head to disassemble and reassemble a small-block Chevy 350. The program is simultaneously educating and empowering students while they compete. The idea is to give students access and experience with the automotive industry by way of a team-building challenge.
For the third consecutive year, the 2017 Pinewood Builders Challenge—previously held during SEMA’s Installation Gala—featured head-to-head racing last summer at the National Street Rod Association Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition to the Builders Challenge, a Manufacturers’ Shootout was staged for the third time ever for participating members of the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA).
The 2017 SEMA Show is expected to attract nearly 160,000 industry professionals. For attendees, a number of transportation options are available to make the commute to and from the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) as painless as possible. For more information about any of the following services, visit www.SEMAShow.com/ground-transportation.
Amid all the famous Show cars and vehicular eye-candy of the 2017 SEMA Show, you can also expect to rub elbows with plenty of celebrities and industry icons throughout the week. This year, legendary musicians Jimmie Vaughan, Billy F Gibbons, Jeff Beck and Michael Anthony will be the featured entertainment at the SEMA Industry Awards Banquet, Thursday, November 2.
The SEMA Battle of the Builders competition, now in its fourth year, has become more expansive than ever. With hundreds of applicants, spanning seven countries and 38 states, building custom masterpieces from more than 30 different manufacturers, this year’s Battle is shaping up to be a truly epic contest and a showcase for all SEMA Show attendees to enjoy.