The 2010 SEMA Show has just wrapped for a 30th time after showing a creative array of new automotive products as well as sharing a seemingly countless number of customized car designs. Everything from modified Chevrolet Camaros, Toyotas, Hondas and even Hyundai were paraded out inside of a Las Vegas convention center to be viewed by only invited industry guests. Making their inaugural visit to the SEMA Show in 2010, Audi showing in Las Vegas is evidence to the new esteem this aftermarket exhibit. Compared to the relatively lackluster attention of late auto shows, it appears that the 50,000 attendees of the SEMA Show sampling a rich, true nature of what was once the auto show.
A quick glance at the exhibited vehicles of aftermarket manufacturers as well as OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) displays a carefree expression and far-out envisioning running rampant in 2010. The objective of the SEMA Show is to invoke the personalization of cars or trucks by sometimes taking a project vehicle to outrageous extremes for personal taste.
In the post-world war two era car business, the auto shows of automotive manufacturers were a living celebration of an optimistic future for a beloved form of personal transportation. Industrial artisans took the medium of the automobile and crafted a divine treasure on 4-wheels (or with how many wheels they choose). Through the 1950s, General Motors held numerous auto exhibits called the Motorama demonstrating rapid advancements in design and technology. designer named Harley Earl was left uninhabited to create show cars like the La Sabre and the Firebird concept cars. With recent economic troubles affecting virtually every auto company’s marketing budget, the last thought was to allow this passion to overrun the need for maintaining or obtaining profitability.
For the past number of years, it seems the North American International Auto Show in Detroit (as well as a wide host of other American and Canadian car exhibits) is less interested winning over the consumer (715,000 presenting themselves in person for the event in 2010) as it is scoring some form of political goal. The green agenda pitched by domestic and foreign automakers is dominating the talk within every automotive brand detouring from the fun, adventurous designs. Promoting more fuel efficient, smaller cars even when the current sales charts for new vehicles indicate the crossover utility vehicles are the driving force of the marketplace. For American auto enthusiasts, a decreasing number of radical concept cars have been on display leaving most major new car auto shows feeling like an over-extended dealership sales floor.
Perhaps enjoying the shelter from the typical bureaucracy of the modern automotive industry, the SEMA Show concept vehicles show deeper optimism and creativity many car lovers are wanting to see from manufacturers. It’s a shame that the general enthusiast crowd do not witness firsthand passion still running deep into the corporate faucets of automakers.
As we’ll enter auto show season in North America with the opening of the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 18th, there are signs that some of the creative juices which fed the 2010 SEMA Show will spout in LA area. Jaguar has announced plans to again show off their C-X75 concept and Nissan is taking the covers off the North American 2012 GT-R.
Information Source: SEMA, North American International Auto Showing
Photo Credit: Toyota Motors Sales USA