SEMA Show Indicates Automotive Aftermarket Coming Back Strong


The auto­mo­tive after­mar­ket indus­try showed signs of recov­ery and growth at this year’s Spe­cialty Equip­ment Mar­ket Asso­ci­a­tion trade show in Las Vegas. SEMA says it was the biggest show in its 45-year his­tory, cov­er­ing 2.5 mil­lion square feet of show floor­ing, a record 135,000 over­all atten­dees, made up in part by 60,000 buy­ers and 3,000 media mem­bers. SEMA says that the indus­try gen­er­ated $29.8 bil­lion dol­lars in retail sales in 2011, and the asso­ci­a­tion is opti­mistic about 2012 with a pro­jected four per­cent growth in the US this year. The indus­try is also see­ing explo­sive growth in China, the Mid­dle East, and other devel­op­ing countries.

This year, many auto­mo­bile man­u­fac­tur­ers — Ford, Gen­eral Motors, Chrysler, Toy­ota, Hyundai and Honda among them — had espe­cially large dis­plays of cus­tomized vehi­cles at the SEMA show. While the show itself is closed to the gen­eral pub­lic, this year it expanded from inside the con­ven­tion cen­ter into adja­cent park­ing lots for pub­licly view­able ride-and-drive demon­stra­tions and a Global Rally Cross rac­ing competition.