SEMA Auto Show 2016
SEMA in Las Vegas is humongous. Everyone who is anyone in the automotive world is there. You’ve got the big automotive manufacturers like Lexus, Chevrolet, Ford, and BMW. You’ve got the big automotive suppliers like Hella and Bosch. You’ve got the big aftermarket modders like Vorsteiner, BBS, Koni, and others that make your normal car look mean. You’ve got the wild car-show guys like West Coast Customs and Diesel Brothers. And then you’ve got Chinese manufacturers of all sorts of random parts, displayed on overloaded shelves. Oh, and trucks. You’ve got loads and loads of trucks.
Let’s start with the OEMs. I was most impressed with Lexus – the new LC500 grand tourer looks stunning, and the RC-F and GS-F that they had on display are looking hotter and hotter with each facelift/update. The lack of a manual transmission option in Lexus’s entire lineup is disappointing to me, but oh well, maybe their target market doesn’t really care. Do you?
On the aftermarket modders side, you’ve got the crazy-looking hot-rods, the old-school muscle cars with huge superchargers sticking out of the hood, the out-of-place BMW or Audi dropped to the ground on airbags here and there, the shiny supercars with more carbon-fiber than a space shuttle., Aand, of course, the lifted trucks that go high enough that not only will your girlfriend not be able to climb into them, but even if you were able to get her in the passenger seat somehow, you wouldn’t be able to take her to the mall because the truck just won’t fit through the parking garage entrance… or any entrance, really.
But amongst all the craziness, it’s really cool to see the whole automotive industry come together. SEMA offers an amazingly-level playing field for small businesses and giants alike. If there’s any company you want to meet and talk to, they’re there and everyone is open and approachable. I, as the founder of Carista, found many new avenues for development and growth through collaboration. From a 2-hour breakfast with the founders of ECS Tuning (which now carries the Carista adapter) to chatting with folks in line for the shuttle, people have unique stories to tell – and they all love cars.