DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (May 12, 2003) — As it concludes the celebration of its 100th anniversary, Ford Motor Co. will be the featured vehicle manufacturer of the Specialty Equipment Market Association's 2003 trade show, planned for Nov. 4-7 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
SEMA President and CEO Christopher J. Kersting said the Diamond Bar-based trade group is “delighted that Ford, which has been a strong supporter of SEMA and the aftermarket industry, has chosen to culminate its yearlong celebration of a century of automotive leadership at SEMA Show 2003.” He also noted that Ford has been a major cornerstone of SEMA's close relationship with the original equipment manufacturers community.
“It was Ford with whom we began our technology transfer program between the car companies and our manufacturer members,” Mr. Kersting said, and the company has been “very generous” in providing project vehicles for SEMA members to modify, customize, and display at the SEMA shows and other venues.
In the past several years, it has become the custom for OEMs to use the SEMA show venue to launch new car and truck models and to gain the automotive industry's reaction to concept vehicles. Mr. Kersting said he anticipates Ford will continue to maintain that tradition.
Jan Valentic, Ford's vice president, global marketing, said the car maker recognizes the “importance of our participation during Ford's centennial celebration that binds our global brand marketing efforts together with the aftermarket. For us, the SEMA show is the ultimate expression of human creativity and invention — certainly a trait that has been passed down from our founder Henry Ford. As an international venue, the show enhances Ford's opportunity to showcase the flexibility of our brands for personalization and accessorization.”
In addition to Ford, other OEM exhibitors at the 2003 SEMA show will include The Chrysler Group, General Motors Corp., Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Panoz, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota. The OEM presence at the SEMA Show has grown from three manufacturers to the current 13 over the past five years, according to SEMA.
The massive trade show — which will again be paired with the International Tire Expo, sponsored by the Tire Industry Association — has already contracted with 1,269 companies thus far for exhibit space totaling a record 824,000 square feet. The association said this year's show will be organized into 12 sections, with the car makers' exhibits distributed throughout the 2 million square feet of exhibits and hundreds of specially constructed project cars and trucks.
Last year's SEMA show featured more than 1,500 project vehicles, had approximately 900 entries into its new product competition, and attracted 86,787 attendees from more than 100 countries. The SEMA show is held concurrently with the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX). The two trade shows comprise the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW), one of the two largest business gatherings held in Las Vegas.