DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (Oct. 22, 2004) — The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has launched its inaugural Vehicle Design Award Program, created to honor original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that make “accessory-friendly” vehicles.
“The philosophy behind the Vehicle Design Awards is to recognize original equipment manufacturers for their foresight when building exciting new vehicles and sharing advanced product information with SEMA members,” said Carl Sheffer, vice president, OEM relations. “The important OEM contribution to the aftermarket needs to be celebrated and the Vehicle Design Awards do just that.”
To judge the vehicles in each category, SEMA said it surveyed its member companies that regularly participate in these OEM-centered programs so that the new awards would be quantifiable and not the result of subjective taste. “Who better to rate vehicles according to their accessory-friendly abilities than the very same individuals who make the products,” said Christopher J. Kersting, SEMA president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “Our voters are the member companies driving automotive enthusiasm at every level and aftermarket consumers will benefit from their efforts in this program.”
Winner of the accessory-friendly vehicle will be announced by SEMA at the California International Auto Show in Anaheim Oct. 27. Award presentations for most accessory-friendly truck and sport-utility vehicle will be given prior to the SEMA Show during the AutoWeek/Automotive News Specialty Vehicle Forum Nov. 1 at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. Automotive News and AutoWeek are sister publications of Tire Business.