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DATE : 14-11-13 09:04
2014 SEMA Show Opens in Las Vegas
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The Specialty Equipment Market Association’sannual trade show opened here on Tuesday, spread out over more than a million square feet of space at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Chris Kersting, the association’s chief executive, said in an email that nearly 2,500 exhibitors would bring products for more than 60,000 wholesale buyers looking for parts and accessories.

“In 2013 consumers bought more than $33.4 billion in nonrepair and replacement parts and accessories to personalize their cars, trucks and S.U.V.s,” Mr. Kersting said, adding that last year’s total was a nearly 7 percent increase over the previous year. “And it was a 19.7 percent increase since the recession ended in 2009. Such growth is a sure sign people still love their cars and are again spending money on improving them.”

He said the niches of street performance and light trucks were helping to drive the growth.

The street performance segment includes products used to modify performance vehicles such as sports and muscle cars, including superchargers, suspension upgrades and body kits. That part of the industry has nearly quadrupled since 2001 and represents about $9 billion in retail sales, Mr. Kersting said, adding that some of the growth is being driven by continued interest in performance and muscle cars and by an interest in restoring and modifying older cars.

Light truck, a category that includes products for modifying performance, appearance and handling of light trucks and S.U.V.s, was hit the hardest during the recession, Mr. Kersting said, and was complicated by rising fuel prices and high unemployment rates in the construction sector. But since 2010, the segment is up 16 percent, although it has still not pushed above prerecession levels.

The largest product segments remain specialty performance tires and custom wheels.

SEMA is something of an idea factory for what enterprising innovators can produce to expand automotive performance, appearance and taste. Many hundreds of customized vehicles will be on display, inside and outside of the convention center. There will also be a number of displays showcasing the performance, handling and capability of modified vehicles.

Most automakers will have displays at the show, as well as the aftermarket companies. Displays will include factory-blessed customized vehicles from Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, Hyundai and many others.

The SEMA show, as it is popularly called, runs through Friday. It is closed to the public, although the vehicles on display, or involved in performance activities outside of the convention center, can be seen without special passes or admission fees.