SEMA:

2007 SEMA Show – Toy Store for Auto Junkies

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Viva Las Vegas
I love Vegas. Lights, gambling, food, beautiful women, cocktails, and not a working clock in sight. Hell meets Disneyland in a world that does not shun alcohol or tobacco for breakfast. Don’t misunderstand me, moderation saves, but this environment screams fun. Regardless of your level of debauchery, the guy next to you makes you feel like a saint. If they could figure out a way to thwart my email connection, I’d move here in a heartbeat.
I look forward to the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas more than most of my assignments, and we at VehicleVoice get assigned some pretty cool marching orders.


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VehicleVoice#42 – Lower Fuel Prices and the SEMA Show

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Welcome to VehicleVoice – Episode #42

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This week, our VehicleVoice audio podcast host David Barrett sits down with AutoPacific’s Vice President and Senior Consultant Jim Hossack for a conversation about one of the funnest auto shows on the circuit, SEMA, and a recent article on CNN.com that points to the short term memory loss of the American car buyer.

Recently, American automobile sales showed that October had a big jump in larger vehicle sales. What! Now that fuel is back under $3.00 a gallon, have Americans completely forgotten how much gas a Yukon, or an H2 or a Navigator guzzles? Are we that myopic?! Well, on the surface, that’s what the sales figures say, but as consumer expert Jim Hossack tells us, those figures can be misleading.

Also on tap this week, Jim and David chat about the week spent in Las Vegas at the SEMA show – the wildest after-market auto parts show a car nut can happily attend.

Show Runtime – 15:04

Show Rundown
01:01 Ford’s inability to hold on to good talent – Still.
02:45 New Sales Figures – Big gas-guzzling engines are again on the American car buyer’s shopping list.
05:13 SEMA – How many wheel makers are there, anyway?!


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Toyota FJ Cruiser – Ubiquitous at SEMA 2006

Yes, SEMA wanted to salute American Muscle this year and they were successful. In front of the North Hall and inside the lobby rows of Muscle Cars both past and present lined up to receive their deserving accolades. The big block Chevys, Fords, and Dodges pulled at my heartstrings. I could hear the gurgling exhaust notes, feel the rumbling deep in my chest, and smell the high octane burning through four barrel carbs, down high rise manifolds, across forged pistons, and out the dual exhaust with an irregular lope. I kept reaching for that Hurst® shifter and mashing down with my right foot, adrenaline pumping hard through my veins. But it was time to stop daydreaming! Today I would be walkin’… a lot.

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In my quest to see most if not all of SEMA I found it interesting that on the front lines there may have been blown Camaros, tweaked Challengers, and race-ready Mustangs but in the trenches Toyota’s FJ Cruiser was chosen by many exhibitors to strut their aftermarket stuff. From Toyota’s own exhibit flaunting TRD (Toyota Racing Development) and an off-road prepped FJs, the latter with a twin-stick Atlas® t-case, to those companies supplying aftermarket bumpers, stereo equipment, and creating convertibles; the FJ’s were everywhere.


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SEMA 2006 – Twisted Steel and Sex Appeal

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Every year automotive industry guru’s and product specialists converge on the Las Vegas Convention Center to promote their products, meet the competition, and network. This year an estimated 145,000 people gathered to celebrate American Muscle and flaunt their piece of the automotive puzzle. From guys named Joe who craft cosmetic interior bolts to the major auto manufacturers like Ford, GM, and Toyota the Specialty Equipment Market Association has created a forum for almost anything in the automotive aftermarket. Bring your walking shoes, but leave your wallets at home because it’s time to visit the 40th annual SEMA show.
As died-in-the-wool car guys, AutoPacific and VehicleVoice correspondents covered the show. Ah, the aching feet!
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The irony behind SEMA is that there are miles of exhibits, thousands of vehicles, and millions of amazing products, but you can’t purchase anything but a t-shirt or hat. What makes SEMA so special is the passion. Everyone at the show is passionate about his or her part in the automotive aftermarket and that excitement can be seen in their sculptures. The experience could be likened to that of an art aficionado visiting the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, only you’re actually able to meet the artisans along with their work. There were superchargers, suspension kits, pistons, drivelines, radiators, batteries, wheels, tires, and of course vehicles with parts that fused form and function while screaming capability.


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Pontiac G6 GXP Concept

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2006 New York Show Concept Draws from Previous SEMA Concepts
Back in 2004, Pontiac launched the GXP performance badge, planned for use across the range. For 2004 and 2005 model years, Pontiac offered the Bonneville GXP with a 275HP 4.6L Northstar V8. Then they shoehorned a 5.3L V8 into the Grand Prix GXP, for a 303HP stealth sedan. The Solstice GXP is next at dealers, offering a breathed-on 260HP four-cylinder.
Pontiac has been testing the waters of acceptance for a GXP variant of its volume G6 line with concepts at the annual SEMA show, culminating in the 2006 New York auto show G6 GXP coupe concept. (SEMA = Specialty Equipment Market Association.) The company has not yet confirmed production, but is testing the waters of public acceptance again with a concept at the 2006 New York auto show. Seeing the GXP in Pontiac showrooms for 2007 model year would not surprise AutoPacific or VehicleVoice contributors.

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Let's Talk Cars: Aftermarket Accessories and Crossovers

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Welcome to “Let’s Talk Cars”

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This week in Let’s Talk Cars, we welcome Castrol as our new sponsor. Thanks Castrol and welcome aboard!
Accessories…aftermarket car accessories to be exact. You’d have to look hard to find an industry growing as fast. Which is exactly why we sat down with automotive accessories expert, Mark Greeley of Newport Custom, to find out more about what’s being done to cars once they’re driven off the showroom floor.
And speaking of showroom floor, chances are you’ll be seeing a lot of Crossovers on them in the next few months. What’s a crossover? We’ll tell you in this episode.
Show Rundown
01:40 After Market AccessoriesMark Greeley of Newport Custom
14:20 The New Crossovers George Peterson, VehicleVoice


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