If you are an automotive aficionado like I am, you might be aware of a major automotive event that happens every year during the early days of November in Las Vegas. You might even know that it’s called the SEMA show, but I bet that is where your knowledge ends. Let me help you out.
First of all, SEMA stands for the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association which is the evolution of the Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association that was founded in 1963. The mission of the organization was practical and straightforward: develop uniform standards for certain products used in motorsports competition; promote the industry as a supplier to consumers involved in constructive activities of recreational and hobbyist value; develop programs to encourage improved business practices among member companies; and hold regular meetings to achieve unity as a business organization.
Motivated by a love for cars, trucks and SUVs, SEMA the trade organization currently boasts a roster of almost 6400 corporate members. The trade organization’s diverse membership is made up of manufacturers, distributors, retailers, publishing companies, automotive restorers, street-rod builders, restylers, car clubs, race teams, and more. That alone would be a pretty tall order, but it doesn’t even begin to do the width and breadth of the organization justice. More on that later, let’s talk about the show.
Now in its 50th year, the annual SEMA show is a four day event – organized by the Specialty Equipment Market Association and held in and outside of the Las Vegas Convention Center – encompassing an amazing 3,000,000 square feet. Bear in mind that this is a trade show geared to help small businesses thrive and succeed and NOT open to the general public. SEMA estimates that the show draws some 150,000 individuals including nearly 70,000 quality buyer companies looking for the next big thing; 3,000 plus media representatives from both trade and consumer outlets; staff from 2,400 plus exhibiting companies and representatives from more than 140 countries. Approximately 550 companies are exhibiting at the SEMA show for the first time.
Does that sound like a lot going on? You bet! Add in the appearance of a variety of automotive celebrities (like the fellas from Discovery Channel’s Fast n’ Loud, racing legend Mario Andretti and designers like 2016 SEMA Hall of Fame inductee Chip Foose of Overhaulin’) and you have a non-stop automotive event. And I STILL haven’t even begun to share with you all the other things going on like Ford Out-Front where they have an outside drifting track where you can ride along with professional race car drivers. There were more custom cars and trucks than you will ever get the time to see – along with beautifully restored vintage rides.
One of the many highlights of the show was the 2016 SEMA Award Breakfast – held on the first day of the show. While there were a number of awards given out for amazing new products, there were also awards given out for the Hottest Vehicles in five different vehicle categories. The winners were chosen by the 2400 SEMA show exhibitors as to 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.
The hottest vehicles for 2016 include: Ford Mustang – hottest coupe; Dodge Charger – hottest sedan; Ford Focus – hottest hatchback; Jeep Wrangler – hottest 4×4/SUV; and Ford F-Series – hottest truck.
NOTE: 2016 SEMA hottest vehicle award winner images attached.