The SEMA Awards

SEMA News—January 2012

EVENTS
By Steve Campbell

The SEMA Awards

Exhibitors at the SEMA Show Choose the Hottest Car, Sport Compact, Truck and 4x4-SUV for 2011

  The four SEMA Award winners for 2011 were the Chevrolet Camaro for the Hottest Car, Ford F-Series for the Hottest Truck, Jeep Wrangler for the Hottest 4x4-SUV and Fiat 500 for the Hottest Sport Compact. 
   

Each year at the SEMA Show, a handful of vehicles are dominant amid the thousands on display. There is always one car, one truck, one sport compact and one SUV or off-road vehicle whose greater numbers make them the most visible in the huge exhibit spaces. To celebrate these standouts, SEMA exhibitors honored four vehicles with the SEMA Awards for the Hottest Car, Hottest Truck, Hottest 4x4-SUV and—new this year—Hottest Sport Compact at the 2011 SEMA Show.

The exhibitors themselves chose the ultimate winners, with the tally determined by displays of specific makes and models in exhibitor booths.

The four SEMA Award winners for 2011 were the Chevrolet Camaro for the Hottest Car, Ford F-Series for the Hottest Truck, Jeep Wrangler for the Hottest 4x4-SUV and Fiat 500 for the Hottest Sport Compact.

The 2011 SEMA Show featured more than 2,000 exhibiting companies. The numbers of these vehicles on display offered convincing proof of their ability to be accessorized. The SEMA Award winners are vehicles that consumers can confidently turn to for unlimited possibilities
in personalization.

To learn more about the SEMA Award winners, visit www.SEMA.org/semaaward. On the pages that follow, we have included comments from exhibitors about the award winners and just a few of the vehicles that represent the Hottest Vehicles of the 2011 SEMA Show.

Hottest Sport Compact of the 2011 SEMA Show: The Fiat 500

SEMA Chairman-Elect Nate Shelton (left) presented Pietro Gorlier, Mopar Service, Parts & Customer Care president and CEO, with the SEMA Award for the Fiat 500 as the Hottest Sport Compact at the 2011 SEMA Show.
The four SEMA Award winners for 2011 were the Chevrolet Camaro for the Hottest Car, Ford F-Series for the Hottest Truck, Jeep Wrangler for the Hottest 4x4-SUV and Fiat 500 for the Hottest Sport Compact. 

After arriving in U.S. showrooms, the Fiat 500 quickly became a favorite of auto enthusiasts, specialty manufacturers and customizers nationwide.

“In just its first year, our new Fiat 500 is prominent throughout this year’s SEMA Show, as it is the perfect canvas for customization,” said Pietro Gorlier, Mopar Service, Parts & Customer Care president and CEO.

“We are honored by the SEMA Award recognition and excited by the creativity and enthusiasm of our fans and the specialty-equipment manufacturers who continue to make the Fiat 500 even more distinctive in the marketplace.” 

  The four SEMA Award winners for 2011 were the Chevrolet Camaro for the Hottest Car, Ford F-Series for the Hottest Truck, Jeep Wrangler for the Hottest 4x4-SUV and Fiat 500 for the Hottest Sport Compact. 
     

“The Fiat 500 is sporty, stylish, cool and small, which is what attracted us to it,” said Ariel Pedrani, OEM sales manager for Coverking, which produces original-equipment neoprene seat covers and car covers for a wide range of vehicles.

Pedrani said that the company also intends to produce fully printed car covers soon.

“We are proud to be the OE supplier of custom seat covers and car covers for such a cool car!” he said. 

  The four SEMA Award winners for 2011 were the Chevrolet Camaro for the Hottest Car, Ford F-Series for the Hottest Truck, Jeep Wrangler for the Hottest 4x4-SUV and Fiat 500 for the Hottest Sport Compact. 
     

“Brandmotion was one of two companies that was provided with a Fiat 500 from Fiat in its SEMA Design Competition last summer, based on the strength of our Fiat 500 Urban Loft proposal to focus on the needs of the urban lifestyle buyer,” said Jeff Varick, president of Brandmotion.

“Fiat was not interested in traditional exterior-heavy customization proposals. We did a few small modifications to the exterior (Eibach springs, Magneti Marelli 18-in. wheels, two-tone paint), but the majority of our modifications—12 in all—were focused on practical modifications to the interior. The Fiat 500 offers a spacious-feeling interior and excellent urban practicality for such a small car.”

“The Fiat 500 is the right car for the times we live in,” Varick said. “We were very pleased to be asked by Fiat to envision a future trim level for the brand-new 500 and to have such an exciting new vehicle in which to showcase Brandmotion products and capabilities.”

  The four SEMA Award winners for 2011 were the Chevrolet Camaro for the Hottest Car, Ford F-Series for the Hottest Truck, Jeep Wrangler for the Hottest 4x4-SUV and Fiat 500 for the Hottest Sport Compact. 
     
“The Fiat 500 responds very well to modifications, from street driving to road racing at a track,” said Zbigniew Szwalgin, vice president of engineering for Zeitronix.

“We found it to be a hot, new sport-compact car. Using the Zeitronix Zt-2 Wideband AFR Meter and Engine Datalogging System, we were able to review engine potential and design a new product, The Timing Controller. Zeitronix also offers other products for the Fiat, including the Black Box Data Logger and the Ethanol Content Analyzer for E85 conversions.

“I personally admire the car. It’s a small car done right. Its beautiful exterior design makes it über cute, and cute sells! But it’s not only looks. At this price range, weight and wheelbase, and with the right modifications, it will also be a hot road-racing car.”

  The four SEMA Award winners for 2011 were the Chevrolet Camaro for the Hottest Car, Ford F-Series for the Hottest Truck, Jeep Wrangler for the Hottest 4x4-SUV and Fiat 500 for the Hottest Sport Compact. 
     

Katzkin Leather is a supplier of high-quality leather seat designs for the Fiat 500 that complement and transform the car’s unique character. Katzkin also offers seat heaters, seat massagers and LiquiCell comfort pads.

“The Fiat 500 is a high-personality car that breaks the paradigm that small cars aren’t cool,” said Dave O’Connell, chief designer for Katzkin Leather. “By design, it makes a solid and confident statement that it’s fun to drive and also enhances the experience of owning a truly unique vehicle. The car possesses a strong visual personality, both in terms of exterior and interior design. It’s very compact in size but very large and expressive in terms of vehicle character. At the same time, it offers almost a blank canvas as to which direction you could take it in terms of personalization. “It was a pleasure and an honor to have this vehicle in our booth at the SEMA Show, and it was a lot of fun to work on. We didn’t try to change the car at all. We just built on its inherent strengths of design and character. It shows the value and power of strong design and how important the role is for design to play in making products more desirable to your customers.”  

  The four SEMA Award winners for 2011 were the Chevrolet Camaro for the Hottest Car, Ford F-Series for the Hottest Truck, Jeep Wrangler for the Hottest 4x4-SUV and Fiat 500 for the Hottest Sport Compact. 
     

“Broadfeet Motorsport Equipment chose to display a Fiat 500 to show that the automotive industry is not just about 4x4s and heavy-duty trucks anymore; that medium-size CUVs and small compact cars, such as the Fiat 500, have their place as well,” said Broadfeet Sales Manager Cesar Florez.

Broadfeet Motorsport Equipment currently carries a front 2.5-in. A-bar and a rear bumper guard for the Fiat but may also offer other products in the future.

“Congratulations to Fiat for making a cool vehicle,” Florez said. “We hope that it brings our company more sales and more challenging ideas. People loved the car at the SEMA Show, and the designs were great. Stay tuned for the 2012 SEMA Show. We have something up our sleeves, and we’ll be sure to surprise everyone.”

   
     

Hottest Car of the 2011 SEMA Show: The Chevrolet Camaro   

SEMA Chairman Paul “Scooter” Brothers (left) presented the SEMA Award for the Chevrolet Camaro as Hottest Car of the 2011 SEMA Show to Chris Perry, General Motors vice president of global Chevrolet marketing and strategy.  

  The four SEMA Award winners for 2011 were the Chevrolet Camaro for the Hottest Car, Ford F-Series for the Hottest Truck, Jeep Wrangler for the Hottest 4x4-SUV and Fiat 500 for the Hottest Sport Compact. 
     
The Camaro has a great-looking high-performance body and, in the case of our display car, a convertible top that revealed our products in their natural habitat,” said Cam Benty corporate vice president of marketing for B&M Racing & Performance. “The display car belongs to TV celebrity Guy Fieri—a longtime friend of the company and a former spokesperson for Flowmaster. We have been helping Guy upgrade and personalize his car with aftermarket components from B&M Racing, Hurst and Flowmaster. The bright-yellow Camaro convertible was the perfect way to show off our products, including the console-mounted shifter from Hurst. The Flowmaster axle-back exhaust system tucks neatly under the rear valance and uses the factory styling and mounts, so it’s perfect for our purposes.”

Benty said that the company has a multitude of new products on the drawing board, with the Camaro being one of its central modern-musclecar target platforms.

   
     

“We are honored that our Camaro received the SEMA Award for the Hottest Car this year,” said John Fitzpatrick, marketing manager, Chevy Performance Cars.

“It’s especially meaningful to receive an award that represents the views of those leaders and visionaries in the specialty-equipment industry that help drive consumer trends in the marketplace.”  

   
     

“The Chevrolet Camaro has proven to be a hugely popular platform for Extreme Dimensions,” said Geoffrey Brown, the company’s marketing manager. “It’s a timeless design that lends itself to a wide range of aftermarket aerodynamic options. With Extreme Dimensions winning the GM Design Award at last year’s SEMA Show, it only made sense for us to bring the new Camaro convertible to the Show this year. We have been able to design and manufacture a number of body kits based off the gorgeous factory lines of the Camaro, and they all look fantastic.

“Although there were hundreds of incredible vehicles built for the SEMA Show this year, it is no surprise that Chevrolet walked away with this award. The Camaro is an iconic vehicle that will never cease to amaze its audience. The beautiful design matched with its fantastic performance make it a tuner’s dream. Congratulations to Chevrolet for making yet another generation of the Camaro that is rightfully sure to go down in the books as one of the most talked about vehicles at the SEMA Show for many years to come.”

   
     
“The Camaro is a great car from the factory, with a lot of potential for additional improvements and customization to a particular customer’s wishes,” said Jason Haines, project director for Lingenfelter Performance Engineering. “It has a broad audience of customers, and GM had to make it work for all of them. That leaves room for us to customize the vehicle the way each customer wants.

“The Camaro engine allows the use of a wide array of available performance products, often with little or no changes. Having a broad base of other aftermarket and GM Performance Parts to work with also helps. One company can’t supply everything that everyone wants for the vehicle, so having a broad range of companies involved expands what we can all provide.

“The ZL1 Camaro takes the factory Camaro to a new performance level, and we look forward to expanding on that even further. It’s great to see the Mustang and the Camaro in such fierce competition between the OEMs. Nothing brings out great products—both in the OEM world and in the aftermarket—like great competition.”

   
     

Grant Products International manufactures a complete line of custom steering wheels and accessories for the automotive aftermarket as well as the marine industry, heavy-duty trucks and the RV/motorhome industry. Its newest products include an expanded offering of steering wheels and styling rings for airbag-equipped vehicles, and Grant is a Tier 2 supplier to the automotive original-equipment industry.

Dennis Noonchester, the company’s president, said that the Camaro’s styling was what brought his company to select the Chevy for its booth display at the 2011 SEMA Show. “It has excellent curb appeal,” he pointed out, “and the very attractive body kit and stripe package were a great draw for our booth.”

   
     
Richard Heinz, owner/president of Race Ramps, said that the ’12 Camaro displayed in the company’s 2011 SEMA Show booth was unique and had all the qualities he was looking for to attract attention to the exhibit.

“I ran into Rick Adams, the gentleman who owns the car, at a track event at Road America,” Heinz said. “It had a killer paint job, and Rick had done something very original with his car: He created a T-Top Camaro. You can’t order that out of the box from the factory, and the combination of the top, the paint job and other modifications he made was very attractive. He did a lot of suspension work, some custom exhaust and other underbody features. That was perfect for us, because we were trying to highlight our Portable Pit Stop Ramp, which raises the entire vehicle off the floor 14 in. We combined that in our display with another new product—a lighted mirror that is used to show off the underside of cars at car shows. It was a marriage made in heaven.”

 
     

“The Camaro is such a great vehicle for aftermarket upgrades that we had to include it in our booth,” said Dan Nicholas, vice president sales/marketing for Jet Performance Products. “It’s one of those cars that is great stock but so much better after the aftermarket gets a piece of it. It has that great musclecar stance that catches your eye. So many people came by the booth and stopped to take pictures of the car and then were shocked to learn how many upgrades we had done to it.”

Jet Performance Products include performance programmers, performance modules, mass air sensors and skip-shift eliminators, and the company is working on several products for the Camaro that it plans to show off at the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council Media Trade Conference to be held January 24–26 at the Embassy Suites LAX South Hotel in El Segundo, California.

“I am so happy that Camaro won the award,” Nicholas said. “I think back several years ago at the SEMA Show when everything was truck-based and the only car stuff was sport compact. It’s so good for the market to have musclecars back in front.”  

   
     

“The Camaro offers massive fenderwell space,” said Joe Jimenez, business development manager at Velocity Wheel.

“That provided a great platform for two new Velocity Wheel products.

The fifth-generation Camaro looked very impressive with our big 26-in. Dcenti DW-29 chrome wheels and our wide Dcenti D9000 255/30R26 tires. Velocity Wheel has a huge array of new and exciting wheel styles to fit the fifth-generation Chevy Camaro.”

   
     

“The Camaro signifies performance and excitement and is a great platform to display what can be done with Akzo-Nobel Coatings’ Wanda brand of automotive refinish products,” said Mark Rapson, business manager of Trade Brands North America for AkzoNobel.

“The Camaro has a very distinct look and style lines. The right colors and styling selection are important to help reflect and enhance the distinctiveness of the vehicle and highlight our coatings. The Wanda Refinish team worked to develop the perfect color pallets that would best emphasize the car’s style features and attributes. Wanda garnered a lot of attention and positive feedback throughout the show, thanks to the Lingenfelter Signature Series Camaros and the fantastic Wanda paint finishes on the vehicles. The SEMA Award certainly brings our efforts to the forefront, and we’re pleased to be a part of the recognition.”

   
     

Wossner Pistons chose to display Gary Shellum’s Camaro for the performance and tastefulness of the completed project and the phenomenal power the car can put down to the ground and yet remain a docile street car when just cruising around town,” said John Noonan, Wossner Pistons sales manager.

“The car is fitted with a Lysholm supercharger, and VIS and JBA supplied the carbon-fiber hood and carbon-look lid and deck. The car is also fitted with USW 22-in. wheels, an NX Nitrous system, an Airlift air-ride suspension, Whiteline suspension bushings, Wossner Pistons and an AEM methanol-injection system.

Wossner is proud to have worked with Gary on his car. He did it with class and performance, and that combination is often overlooked for shock and awe.”

   
     

“The musclecar wars are back, and nothing says it like Chevy’s commitment to the Camaro,” said Doug Evans, executive vice president and group publisher for Source Interlink Media. “When you think of musclecars, you think Camaro. Many of our 60-plus titles and 100 websites are devoted to musclecars of the ’60s and ’70s. The Chevrolet Camaro of today is a fantastic car that provides us the opportunity to speak to a whole new generation of enthusiasts in addition to our loyal reader base that may drive a vintage version and also wants a new model.

“The designers at GM did a great job of capturing enough styling cues from the first generation of cars to give the current version a nostalgic feel while incorporating all the features and performance you’d expect from a new vehicle. In addition, the Camaro is friendly to the aftermarket and offers the consumer dozens of ways to personalize his car using parts and components built by SEMA-member companies. “We have several magazines that include Camaro content, including Motor Trend, Automobile, Hot Rod, Car Craft, Popular Hot Rodding, Super Chevy, GM High Tech Performance and Chevy High Performance.

 

 

     

David Hamburger, director of marketing for SLP Performance Parts Inc., said that the Chevrolet Camaro has been a core part of SLP for 25 years. SLP was the Tier 1 supplier and final assembler to GM for the ’96–’02 Camaro SS, building more than 45,000 of the cars.

SLP has continued the tradition of designing and manufacturing performance parts and packages for the fifth-generation Camaro, and sales continue to strengthen.

“The Camaro is a fun car to work with,” Hamburger said. “We are able to design and manufacture high-performance parts and appearance items, and our staff is constantly able to add more content each time we play with the Camaro. SLP would like to congratulate GM for producing the outstanding product that won the SEMA award.”

   
     

Wossner Pistons chose to display Gary Shellum’s Camaro for the performance and tastefulness of the completed project and the phenomenal power the car can put down to the ground and yet remain a docile street car when just cruising around town,” said John Noonan, Wossner Pistons sales manager.

“The car is fitted with a Lysholm supercharger, and VIS and JBA supplied the carbon-fiber hood and carbon-look lid and deck. The car is also fitted with USW 22-in. wheels, an NX Nitrous system, an Airlift air-ride suspension, Whiteline suspension bushings, Wossner Pistons and an AEM methanol-injection system.

Wossner is proud to have worked with Gary on his car. He did it with class and performance, and that combination is often overlooked for shock and awe.”

   

Hottest Truck of the 2011 SEMA Show: The Ford F-Series

SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting (left) congratulated Martin Smith, Ford Motor Co. executive design director, in recognition of the Ford F-Series pickup as the winner of the SEMA Award for Hottest Truck at the 2011 SEMA Show.

   
     
“Ford has done a great job with the F-Series in design, performance and the quality Ford is known for,” said Deric Dupey, sales director for Ground Force. “It also suits our product just as well—designed and manufactured to produce the best performance without sacrificing quality. Ford trucks offer a wide variety of uses, with options that allow them to be daily commuters, weekend-warrior haulers, on-site contracting trucks—they’re everything and anything you need them to be.

“Being in the suspension business for more than 20 years, Ground Force supplies lowering suspensions to give the F-150 that lowered stance as well as a sports-car feel without sacrificing ride quality. We also have brought out a new line of leveling kits that raise the front of the vehicle, allowing for larger wheel and tire fitments, and our R&D department is always at the drawing table developing new, innovative products that are must-have items for F-Series trucks.

“The SEMA Award really speaks for itself. Congratulations to Ford. We are honored to be part of the Ford program.”

   
     

“Each year manufacturers from the specialty and performance industry have come to the SEMA Show with an explosion of new products and new styling trends displayed on the cars and trucks they view as the most popular trendsetting models,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA’s president and CEO.

“Once again, the exhibitors’ hands-down favorite truck was the F-Series. Given its history at the SEMA Show, it comes as no surprise that the F-Series has emerged once again as the one exhibitors identified as the most accessory-friendly truck.”

   
     

The THI family of companies—Extang, TruXedo, UnderCover, BedRug and Advantage Truck Accessories—manufactures a wide selection of tonneau covers and bed protection for all of the F-Series offerings.

“The Ford F-Series remains the most popular truck in America,” said Steve Kelley, vice president of sales for Extang. “With multiple bed-length choices, the step gate and various cargo-carrying accessories, it basically needs only a tonneau cover and bed protection to complete the package! Combined with America’s best-selling tonneau covers, we thought the Ford F-Series represented us best at the SEMA Show this year. They are great trucks to drive and depend on, and we have many in our fleet across the THI group. In addition to the four F-Series trucks that we displayed in our SEMA Show booth, we also had many others with THI products on display in other areas, including our new F-450 Super Duty. We were able to work with some terrific folks to show our products on their trucks.”

   
     

Vortech  Engineering selected an ’11 SVT Raptor F-150 for its exhibit at the 2011 SEMA Show because of the performance profile of Raptor owners and the way Vortech’s new supercharger system for the truck packaged perfectly under the hood.

“Our display SVT Raptor debuted our high-output supercharger system,” said Gil Cormaci, marketing director for Vortech Engineering. “Our surveys have shown that the owners of these pickups are very interested in power adders due to the fact that many of these trucks are driven hard off-road. The high-output centrifugal supercharger system with air/water charge cooling provides a 45% increase in horsepower and 40% additional torque.

“Congratulations to Ford’s SVT Team with their product content on this popular truck.”

   
     

“We make chrome accessories for vehicles that are the best-selling models in the United States,” said Aaron Fowles, general sales manager for Pacific Rim and Trim International. “The F-Series definitely qualifies. The F-Series also presents a fairly dramatic change in showing ‘before chrome’ and ‘after chrome’ attributes.

“We make chrome wheel skins that snap over the OE steel or alloy wheel. We also make ABS snap-on grilles, door handles, mirrors and tailgate handles. One of the most important attributes to us is the fact that the Ford F-Series keeps the same body style and wheels for extended years.”

   
     

Warn Industries has been a Tier 1 supplier to Ford for decades and today works with Ford to provide 4WD disconnect products for F-150 and Super Duty vehicles.

“Warn included a Ford vehicle in our booth in recognition of our long-time partnership with Ford and to honor Ford for having the number-one-selling truck in the United States for 34 years straight,” said John Stransky, Warn Industries Inc. president. “We also wanted to display our PullzAll in action this year. The Super Duty provided a perfect fit for demonstrating the PullzAll, lifting an engine from the bed of the truck in our booth.

“Warn Industries was honored to win the Ford Product Excellence Award for the project vehicle that was displayed in our SEMA booth this year. That vehicle will be used at numerous events and shows. Warn has worked with Ford on project vehicles for a number of years, and we appreciate their support in being able to showcase a great truck that represents both companies.”

   
     

“The Ford F-Series has been one of the best-selling trucks of the past six decades, and we felt that their truck outfitted with our new Century Optimus fiberglass truck cap and our Pace Edwards Bedlocker electric retractable tonneau cover would attract the most attention in our booth,” said Dennis DeLeonard, vice president of sales, marketing and business development for Truck Accessories Group.

Truck Accessories Group LLC (TAG) includes Leer, Raider, Century, Pace Edwards and State Wide Aluminum. The member companies are manufacturers of a wide variety of fiberglass and aluminum truck caps, tonneaus and rigid retractable truck bed covers for pickups as well as aluminum-framed windows used in the truck cap and trailer industries. TAG companies offer their products through independent retailers and distributors throughout the world.

“We currently supply a full line of products for Ford vehicles, and we are always adding exciting new products to our portfolio,” DeLeonard said.

   
     

Roll-N-Lock Corp. chose a ’10 F-150 for its SEMA Show display, noting that the company offers F-Series applications of its E-Series electric retractable tonneau cover, M-Series manual retractable tonneau cover and Cargo Manager bed divider.

“We wanted to showcase our number-one-selling application and specifically call attention to a unique design modification that we have recently brought to market,” said Dan Beaulaurier, director of sales and marketing for Roll-N-Lock Corp.

“This modification allows the tailgate locking device that is integrated into our tonneau cover to work seamlessly with Ford’s optional tailgate step. Roll-N-Lock Corp. will absolutely continue to include applications for all Ford F-Series trucks as we bring new product designs to market.”

   
     

“Bully Dog is known for being first to market with our tunes,” said Brittany Schwartz, marketing team coordinator for Bully Dog Technologies. “So with that being said, why would we not tune the hottest-selling truck on the market right now? Our booth vehicle was the Ford EcoBoost. These trucks are amazing straight from the company, with their turbocharged, direct-injected engines. Combine the power output and fuel efficiency of these engines, and you have got a truck to get excited about! Add the Bully Dog tune, and you can see an increase of 42 hp and 55 lb.-ft. of torque over stock!

“Bully Dog offer tuners for both gas and diesel F-Series trucks: the Diesel GT and Gas GT. We would like to thank Ford for continuing to push the vehicle industry. Not only from the number of new vehicles the company has added to its line, but to the marketing efforts Ford is doing. As a small company, we look to Ford for inspiration and are excited to see how far it can take its EcoBoost engine.”

   
     

Roll-N-Lock Corp. chose a ’10 F-150 for its SEMA Show display, noting that the company offers F-Series applications of its E-Series electric retractable tonneau cover, M-Series manual retractable tonneau cover and Cargo Manager bed divider.

“We wanted to showcase our number-one-selling application and specifically call attention to a unique design modification that we have recently brought to market,” said Dan Beaulaurier, director of sales and marketing for Roll-N-Lock Corp.

“This modification allows the tailgate locking device that is integrated into our tonneau cover to work seamlessly with Ford’s optional tailgate step. Roll-N-Lock Corp. will absolutely continue to include applications for all Ford F-Series trucks as we bring new product designs to market.”

   

Hottest 4x4-SUV of the 2011 SEMA Show: The Jeep Wrangler  

Pietro Gorlier also accepted the SEMA Award recognizing the Jeep Wrangler as the Hottest 4x4-SUV at the 2011 SEMA Show.

   
     
“We are honored that our Jeep Wrangler was named hottest SUV at the SEMA Show,” said Gorlier.
“The Jeep Wrangler is an icon that has been around for nearly 70 years. No one comes close to matching its legendary capability.”

Custom parts and accessories for the Jeep Wrangler remain in high demand as owners look for ways to make their Wranglers more their own. Enthusiasm for the Wrangler has led to its winning of multiple industry awards, including the SEMA Most Accessory-Friendly SUV in 2007.

   
     

The Jeep Wrangler has never been just a vehicle,” said Brian Godfrey, marketing manager for Fox Racing Shox.

“It’s an enthusiast connection to a culture, similar to the way Harley-Davidson enthusiasts connect to theirs. Jeep owners personalize their vehicles with aftermarket parts to fit what they like and intend to do with them. They’re like blank canvases, and the culture only begins with the vehicles. Now, with four doors, the wife and kids can come, too, and that has really expanded the scope of the customer base immensely.

“Fox manufactures high-performance shock absorbers and steering stabilizers to fit stock and aftermarket suspension kits. We also work closely with a majority of the aftermarket suspension-kit manufacturers to develop shocks specifically for their kits. With our vast knowledge from off-road racing suspension dominance, we have created products to take the Jeeping experience to the next level.”

   
     

“There are so many ways to fit and attach customized parts to the Wrangler, and since Jeep came out with the Unlimited, the longer wheelbase has made all the difference getting up obstacles much easier,” said Scott Doughty, Mountain Off-Road Enterprises CEO. “We manufacture specialty Jeep-only aftermarket parts, and since the Wrangler can be customized so many ways, I see why it was chosen for the SEMA Award. People want to see what our products will look like on their own Jeep, and showing our Wrangler in our SEMA booth is what sells our products.

“We have been around since 1995. We manufacture parts going from CJs all the way up to JKs. We make bumpers, fenders, oil and transmission skidplates, a dual battery tray and a new retractable Hide-A-Step that shortens the step up into the Jeep Wrangler by 11 in. but is also removable with two quick-disconnect pins.

“SEMA exhibitors couldn’t have picked a better vehicle. The Wrangler is a story of the American Way. Congratulations, Jeep Wrangler!”

   
     

“The Jeep Wrangler provided the perfect platform to display our intake kit and toolbox while drawing attention to our booth,” said Mike Morrow, vice president of marketing for Spectre Performance.

“We manufacture a true cold-air induction system that draws air from the firewall area and a sheetmetal toolbox that installs into the cavity that formerly housed the air filter. We’re also considering other sheetmetal components similar to those that we manufacture for the old-school musclecar market. The Wrangler is a versatile and popular platform for both the true off-road enthusiast and the occasional weekend off-roader.”

   
     

The Jeep market is a very important part of our business, and the Jeep JK is a build we are very proud of,” said Lee McGuire, director of marketing and operations for Skyjacker Suspensions. “Not only do we use it at various shows, but it also gets taken out and really used at events and on the trails. You have the ability to add so many suspension accessories and upgraded components to make it a truly great trail-ready vehicle. We offer 2-in. leveling kits, 2.5- to 7-in. suspension kits, dual steering stabilizers, shocks, front and rear track bars and grab handles. We really have any suspension upgrade or component you could want to make your JK into a capable vehicle on-and off-road.

“Our Jeep JK project Green Hornet includes a number of other accessories and components in the build to really show why the Wrangler is such a sought-after vehicle to customize. All the added accessories just show what you can really get out of the right combination of products on your Jeep.”

   
     

“The Jeep Wrangler is the ultimate off-road vehicle and consistently improves on the iconic status that it has developed,” said Vinson Pratt, marketing manager for TeraFlex Inc. “It lends itself to modification and customization while enhancing the entire outdoor experience of the vehicle owner.

“TeraFlex manufactures suspension lift systems, low-range gear products, heavy-duty axle components and body protection equipment—all for and exclusive to the Jeep Wrangler. Each and every item that we supply solves a unique problem or enhances the users’ overall experience with their Jeeps. Because of our daily use of the Jeep Wrangler, we are constantly brainstorming and developing new products, and we average a new product for the Wrangler every four to six months.

“The Jeep is more than just a vehicle. It won our hearts on foreign battlefields and came home to work with us in our fields and farms. The SEMA Award confirms the great legacy of this vehicle and the huge aftermarket following that it continues to build.”

   
     

Jeep was the foundation of what made Rancho successful in the early years, and Jeep products continue to be significant to our Rancho and DynoMax customers,” said Joe Pase, director of performance for Tenneco Inc. “We wanted to convert our existing Jeep Wrangler JK to a JK8 pickup. We’re thrilled that we took that approach, as customers and brand fans really appreciated our designer’s creativity. It was the talk of the SEMA Show.

“The Wrangler is one of the most customized vehicles. Consumers love to modify them and make their Wranglers suit their personal tastes. To that end, we produce Off Road Rancho lift kits, Rancho shocks, under-Jeep protection and differential covers, bumpers and doors. We also produce a full suite of DynoMax performance exhaust systems, including systems that feature our newest technology—the DynoMax VT muffler.

“We would like to say congratulations and thank you to our friends at Jeep for building another fantastic vehicle.”

   
     

“The Jeep Wrangler has earned a cult-like following of enthusiasts,” said Marc Cloutier, marketing manager for MBRP Inc. “Aside from its inherent capabilities both off-road and as urban transport, the sheer numbers of the vehicles on the road make it a worthy target for aftermarket product development. Even better, a greater-than-usual percentage of Jeep Wrangler owners accessorize and personalize their vehicles and are eager to invest in them. They have made MBRP’s Off Camber Fabrications division the fastest-growing manufacturer of off-road accessories specializing in Jeep vehicles, particularly the Wrangler models.

“MBRP offers eight different performance exhaust systems for the Wrangler. All of them feature our unique muffler design that draws out every bit of available power and provides a rich, mellow exhaust note. Our Off Camber Fabrications division also produces nearly 40 different Wrangler accessories, ranging from bumpers to rock rails on through to roof racks and fire extinguisher mounts. All have proven themselves in the most extreme environments."

   
     

Bestop manufactures a wide assortment of products but is best known for its soft tops for early through current Jeeps. The company also makes bumpers, doors, seating, steps, storage and many other companion items.

“For more than 50 years, Bestop has earned its living with Jeep products,” said Jim Chick, the company’s director of sales and marketing. “Bestop’s core product—soft tops for Jeep—is at the heart of the company, which has been a long-running supplier to Jeep and the aftermarket. We recently released a whole new style of soft-top called Trektop NX that opened a new segment of styling for the Jeep TJ and JK platforms. We wouldn’t think of having a display without a heavy Jeep presence because of Jeep’s longevity in the marketplace as the vehicle of choice for fun and accessorizing.

“Congratulations to Jeep, and thanks for creating and supplying the world’s most accessorized vehicle for so many years in a row!”

   
     

“The Jeep Wrangler is an iconic vehicle,” said Carter Reed, marketing manager for BDS Suspension.

“From its war-time heritage to its modern features, the JK continues to be one of the most popular vehicles on the market to accessorize. The JK offers a capable platform from the factory and can be easily upgraded to enhance its performance on- and off-road. BDS Suspension manufactures suspension lifts and accessories to improve the handling and off-road capabilities of the JK.

We offer lift options from 2-in. budget boosts to complete 6.5-in. long-arm systems and everything in between. We are always striving to develop new and innovative products. The JK gives us the opportunity to develop a wide range of products. As Jeep makes improvements to the current Wrangler, we work to develop new products to better equip them for the trail.”

   
     

“The Jeep Wrangler is an iconic vehicle,” said Carter Reed, marketing manager for BDS Suspension. “Rock-Slide Engineering has designed all of our products around the functional aspect of the Jeep Wrangler,” said Steven Bennion, president of Rock-Slide Engineering. “The introduction of the JK into the 4x4 market sparked increased interest in the 4WD market. With its obvious street appeal, the JK also performs exceptionally well in off-road situations, opening new market share for the ‘soccer mom’ to drive daily and the ‘off-road dad’ to be able to play with his buddies.

“We produce a wide variety of parts for the Jeep JK and other models. Our front and rear Rigid series bumpers have been a huge success in the market. Our internal and external bombshell kits for the Dana 44 axles have transformed the daily driver into a functional off-road machine. Our newest addition to the R-SE lineup is our Step Slider, which provides incomparable body protection to all Jeeps. Rock-Slide Engineering is dedicated to producing functional aftermarket products for the off-road enthusiast. We are constantly designing and manufacturing new products to introduce to the market.” 

   
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