The number of automakers tapping into the customization and specialization craze at this year’s SEMA Show Nov. 4-7, 2008 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, reached a record high. There were 15 manufacturers representing 32 nameplates exhibiting sophisticated displays at the show this year, making major announcements and debuting new vehicles for the first time during the week.
Regarded by many as the strongest indicator of automotive specialty equipment trends, the SEMA Show has become a must-attend event for the world’s automakers. Unlike any other event in the auto show circuit, the SEMA Show is unique because it is a trade-only event that caters to key decision makers, designers, media and businesses that form a powerful voice in the automotive industry.
“Recognizing the demand for personalization and customization, automakers are collaborating more and more to discover how they can attract niche consumers effectively,” said Bill Wolf, senior director, OEM relations. The SEMA Show, which is dedicated to the accessories market, is designed to help SEMA members increase accessory sales. By collaborating with automakers, SEMA members are able to take advantage of new business opportunities while helping automakers sell more vehicles.
General Motors played a major role this year with the debut of the production 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, the official vehicle of the 2008 SEMA Show. Through several of its vehicle brands including Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac and Saturn, GM is a long-time supporter of the SEMA Show. The automaker has exhibited at the event since 1996, and also demonstrates a strong commitment to vehicle personalization by collaborating in numerous SEMA programs that make it easier and more cost-effective for its members to develop.
Among the new exhibitors this year was Mercedes Benz, who has participated in the SEMA Show in past years through various partnerships and programs. The automaker is increasing its level of involvement by becoming an exhibitor for the first time. In addition to having a customized Mercedes GLK unveiled by Renntech, the well-known American tuner, there will be a Mercedes Lounge located on the 2nd level between Halls C1 and C2.
“It’s great to have Mercedes as a first-time vehicle manufacturer at the show. It reinforces the fact that owners of luxury vehicles that typically come “fully-loaded,” still want to personalize their cars after it’s purchased,” added Wolf.
Joining GM and Mercedes at the SEMA Show were: Ford Motor Company, Hyundai Motor America, American Honda, Kia Motors America, Inc., Lexus, Mazda North America Operations, Chrysler, Nissan North America, Scion, Subaru of America, Inc., Suzuki, Toyota and Volkswagen.
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