LAS VEGAS (Nov. 5, 2004) — Based on preliminary attendance numbers, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) reports its 38th annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas is on pace to becoming its most successful gathering.
The Diamond Bar, Calif.-based trade group predicts the 2004 show will break the 2003 show's attendance record of 105,000 industry professionals. “From the outset, we knew the 2004 SEMA Show was going to break all attendance and display records,” said Christopher J. Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “Early analysis of show activity and reports from our members suggest a significant increase in buyer participation and business. And it was the perfect place for our featured vehicle manufacturer, Ford Motor Co., to add to the Mustang's 40th anniversary celebration and roll-out of the all-new 2005 model.”
SEMA, which represents the $29 billion automotive aftermarket industry, said this year's show recognizes the building relationship between vehicle manufacturers and the aftermarket by awarding the inaugural 2004 SEMA design awards for accessory-friendly vehicles.
“SEMA has encouraged the original equipment manufacturers to share engineering and other confidential data with our members. This has resulted in unprecedented cooperation and the ability to introduce new vehicles and purpose-built aftermarket products at the same time,” Mr. Kersting continued.
Winners of the SEMA design awards included the all-new Ford Mustang for best redesigned vehicle, the Ford F-150 for best truck and Chevrolet Tahoe for best SUV.
The vehicles haven't been the only stars at the show, which winds down to a close today.
Among the crowds, SEMA said, were car enthusiast celebrities Jay Leno, Hulk Hogan, Snoop Dogg, Usher and others from professional sports as well as auto racing legends Mario Andretti, Johnny Rutherford and Wally Parks, and TV production companies including “Overhaulin,” “Pimp My Ride,” and “American Chopper.”
SEMA, which has 5,727 member companies, said that since 1994 the specialty equipment industry has grown 89 percent, at an average clip of 8.9 percent per year.