Las Vegas SEMA Show Awards

by Don Elliott on November 15, 2011

The Las Vegas SEMA Show brings together automotive professionals from all over the world. More than 115,000 attendees passed by over 2,000 exhibitor’s booths where products were displayed on almost every kind of vehicle.

SEMA President and CEO, Chris Kersting, explained that exhibitors displayed the most prominent models, which are the best platforms for accessorization. “The SEMA Award helps guide consumers to the most accessory-friendly vehicles on the market by demonstrating the unlimited potential for customization,” stated Kersting in the SEMA Show Daily. “There is no shortage of options for new car and truck buyers. The ability to accessorize a vehicle often impacts the decision on which vehicle to purchase.”

SEMA Award Winners

The 2011 SEMA Award winners were announced at Tuesday morning’s award ceremony:

  • Hottest Car – Chevrolet Camaro
  • Hottest Sport Compact – Fiat 500
  • Hottest Truck – Ford F-Series
  • Hottest 4X4/SUV – Jeep Wrangler

This was the second year for the SEMA “Hottest” Awards. 2010 was the first year for the awards with Camaro, Ford F-Series, and Jeep Wrangler taking the inaugural prizes. The Hottest Sport Compact was a new category in 2011.

Action around the Sport Compact segment was highlighted at the 2011 Scion Tuner Challenge. John Sibal of Sibal Designworks took home the Scion trophy, $10,000 and carload of prizes from Snap-On, Alpinestars and Meguiiars. His matte gray Scion iQ-RX features modified iQR panels and bumpers with smoked lighting to give the car a stealth look.

The highly modified engine and suspension provide excitement from the driver’s seat, complemented by the Orion audio system, XBOX 360 game console, 32” Samsung LED 3DTV, and Apple iPad 2 enclosure. While the beauty of this car is not obvious without a closer look, under the Global Judges’ close scrutiny it took first prize.

Having a 32” 3D TV in your car may seem excessive when shopping for accessories and upgrades. Suspension systems and lift kits that require that you use a ladder to get into your car might also not be important to you. However, after walking the SEMA show, there were obvious trends that do impact those of us who drive more normal cars. For example, many car manufacturers have noticed increased turbocharger business. As engines get smaller and more fuel efficient, turbocharging is one way to boost power when needed. Auto locksmiths will need to study up on keyless entry, electronic keys, and more sophisticated security systems. Body shops will need to convert to water-born paints. Auto repair shops will fight for access to manufacturer repair codes. All of this is happening to improve your used car value.

Consumers are the ultimate SEMA Show award winners. Millions of dollars worth of business will be transacted as the result of over 2,000 exhibitors looking for ways to provide added value for their customers. Only a few get the awards, the rest just get the business!

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