The Specialty Equipment Manufacturer’s Association show in Las Vegas is a trend-setting moment — and not just because of the over-the-top custom builds that draw in every camera phone-equipped attendee in the Las Vegas Convention Center. This is where the aftermarket and collector car support industry comes to show off its innovations over the past 12 months — and it’s a place I like to go to see what trends may be on the horizon in the various corners of the custom, classic and collector car world.
This is where our team was able to get up close with Mike Copeland’s hydrogen engine conversions, as well as Legacy EV’s classic car EV conversion kits, both of which we featured in Linkage in the months after the 2022 event.
I’ve long been a fan of the new products showcase at SEMA, as it’s a dedicated space for manufacturers to show off specific new products apart from the fancy car builds that spread out across more than a million square feet of show space. Here, new automotive products are arranged in a logically laid out, concentrated area, and they’re always presented with contact information for the distributor or manufacturer of each part or product, so you know where to go to learn more. With so much to see and do at SEMA and only a few days in which to do it, the organization presented here is extremely important.
SEMA says this is the largest collection of new automotive products in the world, and for 2023, it has a new home inside the show.
The Association has just announced that they’re revamping this feature for 2023, with a fresh showcase that’s moving to the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. There, it will display thousands of new products for 2023 during the October 31 to November 3 show.
SEMA is an automotive trade show that is not open to the general public — but for those with access, it offers a good look inside the state of the automotive aftermarket, which recorded sales in excess of $51.8B in 2022, $50B in 2021 and $49.7B in 2020, according to SEMA. What I find most interesting about those numbers is that they grew into the post-COVID era — so the demand for project parts that was prompted by the pandemic didn’t slow a whole lot as the world came back online, even after manufacturers caught back up with heavy demand and challenging supply chain issues. The New Products Showcase, which now has a new home, has always felt like the leading edge of the trend, punctuated by the new great ideas that are sprinkled throughout.
As always, Linkage will be on-site this October 31 to November 3 to see what’s new for 2023 — and to bring you our take on the industry’s new horizons.