More than 2,400 exhibitors from the 2016 SEMA Show voted to determine this year’s SEMA Award winners—a forward-looking honor that identifies the exhibitors’ choices about the hottest new and emerging vehicles and guides consumers toward the most accessory-friendly platforms on the market. For 2016, Ford and MOPAR were chosen as the two most popular OEMs, with Ford winning in three categories and MOPAR winning the remaining two.
The 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, now rebranded as Auto Mobility LA, maintained emphasis on mobility and technology integration in a modern world, meaning that media attendees were exposed to many ways to avoid owning or driving cars. Be that as it may, many automakers introduced new and improved models to the public, and quite a few of the debuts could be of interest to aftermarket manufacturers and enthusiast consumers. Here’s a glimpse of what specialty-equipment manufacturers can look forward to in the next year.
No retrospective of 2016 SEMA Show highlights would be complete without the annual SEMA Industry Awards Banquet. Taking up the 50th anniversary Show theme, “We Built This,” the Thursday-evening event celebrated standout leaders who exemplify the passion and drive for excellence at the heart of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Emceed by Dennis Pittsenbarger and Jessi Combs, the evening also featured entertainment by comedian Larry the Cable Guy, known for his catchphrase “Git-R-Done” as well as his voice work as Mater in the animated films Cars and Cars 2.
For the second consecutive year, the 2016 Pinewood Builders Challenge—previously held during SEMA’s Installation Gala—featured head-to-head racing last summer at the National Street Rod Association (NSRA) Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition to the Builders Challenge, a Manufacturers’ Shootout was staged for the second time ever for participating members of the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA).
Over the past five decades, SEMA has become world renowned for its annual SEMA Show, but its core mission as a trade association goes much further, extending benefits 365 days a year. To help its members succeed and prosper, SEMA’s year-round work extends to legislative and industry advocacy, the promotion of technology and innovation, market research, education, member services and a host of other important initiatives to encourage marketplace growth. Those goals take leadership, and each year, the SEMA Installation Gala gathers the association together to install newly elected SEMA Board of Directors and council members, say thanks to outgoing officers, and celebrate SEMA’s latest Hall of Fame inductees.
In 2008, Hot Rodders of Tomorrow (HROT) first received funding as an educational competition for high-school students across the country. The motivation remains just as relevant today: provide a platform for students to gain interest and access into the automotive industry through a team-building challenge. SEMA News spoke with Rodney Bingham, HROT president, among others, to learn more about how the program has grown over the last eight years and how it remains a key point for youth engagement in the automotive industry.
The schedule of press conferences scheduled for the 2016 SEMA Show.
The SEMA Show brings tens of thousands of visitors to Las Vegas annually, making it one of the best-attended trade shows in the world. Attendees of the Show understand that there is a plethora of business-advancing demonstrations, education seminars and exhibit space at the Show, which is more than enough to keep busy during the day. However, once the doors to the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) close, Las Vegas offers some of the best dining, attractions and entertainment available. This is the 2016 guide to seeing and experiencing Las Vegas beyond the walls of the SEMA Show. For more information, please visit www.lasvegas.com.
Before there was a SEMA Show, there was an association—a loosely knit group of speed-equipment manufacturers who came together with a common interest. It was the Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association’s shared obstacles to building their businesses that brought them together, and the foundation of the industry was born.
The 2016 SEMA Show is home to some of the most unique and highly customized automotive builds in the world. This year, the SEMA Battle of the Builders (BOTB) competition includes automotive builders of all ages and experience levels, culminating in a truly spectacular contest.