the SEMA show

It’s the SUPER BOWL of automotive specialty shows, the annual SEMA Show. Held in Las Vegas from October 31 to November 3, this event draws thousands of industry experts and hot new products from all over the world. Types of aftermarket products displayed included parts, lighting, accessories, repair services, and body work for the automotive, truck, SUV, powersports, and RV markets.

SEMA show 2016 kia niro triathlon at sema

While I did not walk the entire million-plus square feet of show space, I did experience quite a bit. What surprised me most was the size of the aftermarket offerings for truck and jeep components. Two entire showroom floors were filled with everything from trailer hitches and bedliner coatings to lift kits and toppers. The event provided a great chance for me to connect with six of my component suppliers, many of whom I have worked with but had never met in person.

sema jeep wheels and lights sema camping toppers for jeeps

The most significant trend I noticed was how consumer electronics were being integrated into aftermarket components in a seamless way. For example, I saw several rearview mirrors that could mirror your smart phone with full touch screen functionality, built-in speakers, GPS navigation, and Wi-Fi built-into the mirror in addition to the backup camera display.

smart rearview mirrors sema sound and technology

Center console designs were being replaced with giant touch screens that communicated with screens in the back seat. Advanced custom lighting systems, stereo systems, integrated sun shades sparked my imagination. I also had fun on the giant demo track outside of the convention center.

It’s a must-see show for anyone hoping to stay relevant in what’s happening in the automotive world.

Written By: Rob Waara – Product Development Engineer |
Rob has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University. He has extensive experience in I.C. engines and powertrain systems including future product planning. In addition to high volume production programs, he has been involved in multiple motorsports teams. Rob enjoys spending his free time fishing and camping with his family.