Chevrolet also planning to skip SEMA?

Colin
By Colin Wood
May 19, 2022 | Chevrolet, SEMA

Photograph Courtesy Chevrolet

A few weeks ago, SEMA announced that both Ford and Honda decided to not attend the 2022 SEMA show, citing “a change in corporate strategy” within both car makers.

[Ford and Honda to skip 2022 SEMA Show]

Now, it looks as if Chevrolet might also be skipping the show.

Although Chevrolet is listed on the 2022 participating manufacture list, last updated on April 22 of this year, we are unable to find their booth in any hall when viewing the exhibitor floor plan–besides a Chevy dealership, Scoggin Dickey Chevrolet of Texas.

Does this mean Chevrolet decided to pull out from SEMA following Ford and Honda’s departure?

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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/18/22 12:47 p.m.

Wow, that'll leave a hole in the main hall. Kinda hard to miss the GM booth. 

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
5/18/22 1:44 p.m.

So what is this "shift in strategy"?

Do they expect electrics to be so locked down, there is no market for specialty modifications?

They don't expect there vehicles to be used for anything but driving to work and back?

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
5/18/22 1:45 p.m.

Did SEMA " Jump the shark" and turn the show into a 3 ring circus ?

there seems to be so much stuff that has nothing to do with the Aftermarket "Speed shop" buyers filling the shelves , 

it does makes SEMA buckets full of money by renting all the available space .

or maybe I am just getting old........


 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/18/22 3:35 p.m.
aircooled said:

So what is this "shift in strategy"?

Do they expect electrics to be so locked down, there is no market for specialty modifications?

They don't expect there vehicles to be used for anything but driving to work and back?

Electrics only affect the stuff that turns the wheels. All the suspension/brake/wheels/styling/infotainment/aero/etc etc etc modifications still apply.

But it is an aftermarket show, and Ford/GM's participation was way out of line with the possible return for GMPP or Ford Racing. Honda doesn't do anything for the aftermarket so it was just an F&F hangover for them. But when Ford bowed out, GM may have seen an opportunity to scale back their attendance as well. You can bet there will be a bunch of GM and Ford engineers roaming around, though, and I'll bet I (as a SEMA member) could pretty easily schedule one-on-one meetings with them.

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/18/22 5:47 p.m.

I can't comment on SEMA, but in my old  job I was involved in autoshow planning.  Not the layout, but the planning for both global and regional reveals for vehicles, concepts, teasers, themes, would be, and the timing with respect to launch, production, competitors etc..  Already by 2017/18ish the writing was on the wall pretty much for regular auto shows.  Sure all the manufacturers still attend them, but it's generally with the regional or country operation putting on the stand, rather than the big head office dog and pony show.  Vehicle reveals went more to offsite events, and even virtual, where the manufacturer has a captive audience and they can show the audiance their presentations, see the vehicles, go on drives etc. without having to worry the journalists will be rushing off to the next show stand in 15 mins for a competitor reveal.  The other big change came from the type of press that the manufacturers feel they need to reach.  It used to be all the auto magazines, but with the rise of the internet and social media that changed as well.  Both mens and womens lifestyle magazines, general technology press, bloggers, vloggers etc. are all more important than the old school motoring publications for new vehicle launches, especially with vehicles not targeted directly at enthusiasts.  

By the time the concepts or new cars appear on the stands these days, there's already been a big unveiling to the press, and often the public at either their headquarters, or some other location.  Covid pretty much put an end to any significance traditional auto shows still had from the manufacturer side.  My guess is the same thing has happened with SEMA.  There are those on here who have been to SEMA way more than I have, but when I was last there in 19, it was far more informative to visit the accompanying APEX show than the main SEMA show area.  There you can see, meet, greet vendors from various parts of the world for manufacturing contacts.  But I only attended SEMA/APEX as a visitor, not as a vendor.  I'd love to see what Keith, the GRM crew, and anyone else who has more experience of SEMA than me have to say about their views.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/18/22 6:08 p.m.

The real business at the SEMA show (it's easy to confuse the show with the organization) is done by appointment. Oh sure, you might come across something cool on a booth babe car, but mostly you're jumping from spot to spot for pre-arranged meetings or seminars. The crowds make that really difficult, and when Eastwood has Foose signing posters you can consider that area closed to through traffic. 

I have come across some good finds by walkin' and lookin', but that's the exception rather than the rule. 

GM can't easily be replaced by a dealer in this show like they can in a regional auto show. First, they're showing off all the crate engines and bolt-on doohickeys. Second, the folks working the booth have real in-depth knowledge and information.  That's the real value. Scoggin Dickey is a real player in the crate engine world including combos you can't get from GM so it's not surprising to see them showing on their own regardless. 

I agree that all the cars are revealed before the show, so maybe losing some of that will make the show more useful to those who are there on business instead of as tourists. 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UltraDork
5/18/22 6:52 p.m.

I enjoyed going over to Apex and seeing all the small companies in the basement , 

I always bought a few "samples" the last day that they did not want to drag home , 

But I would bet that the SEMA  spaces will be filled with someone who is on the wait list or has been stuck in a back corner for years , 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/18/22 8:21 p.m.

Apparently your location is based on how long you've been exhibiting. Seniority gets you better placement, and if you skip a year you start over. So there will be a bunch of new exhibitors in the main hall thanks to the Honda/Ford/GM vacuum, but it won't be little unknown shops doing cnc brake calipers and led washer nozzles. It'll be the guys that were close but not quite there before.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/18/22 11:13 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I'd second that. If you don't arrive at SEMA or PRI with a slate of meetings, you're way behind. Yes, there is some walking and getting lucky, but really you need to go in with a plan–and with the scope of the place, you need to use the map when making those plans. 

And, yes, the traffic doesn't help. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/19/22 5:00 p.m.

Sort of related to the changing world, GRM participates in SEMA's MPMC. Think of it like speed dating: SEMA members and members of the media are paired up for half-hour conversations. You go in with a schedule so you know who you'll see but it's basically a few days of back-to-back meetings with each one limited to 30 minutes. 

The event has gone digital and, I admit, it's so useful: You meet, you talk, you get things done. No huffing around a convention center, no navigating past autograph signings, no interruptions.  

deaconblue
deaconblue New Reader
5/20/22 9:57 a.m.

Well when Ford announced that they were pulling out, Chevrolet initially took its place up on the stage in the Central hall and Toyota/Lexus moved into Chevrolet's traditional location.  Now the floor map shows the stage area in the Central hall labeled as SEMA.  Dominos are falling...

We have been going to the SEMA shows for far too many years to admit.  I personally didn't go last year and don't plan to attend this year.  The real hard core racing parts show has been and continues to be, the PRI show, which we still attend.  Its just too much of an expense to go to "Lost Wages" for either the AAPEX or SEMA shows any more, based on the return of your investment.  Margins are getting squeezed with companies having to absorb much higher costs for; materials, labor, shipping and import tariffs.  They need to cut back on expenses where ever possible, while trying to limit pricing their products out of the reach of most of their customers.  With the Covid travel restrictions last year, (from what those that did attend had to say) there was hardly anyone downstairs at the AAPEX show.  The old adage of "you will be conspicuous by you absence" just does not apply any more.  

Then factor in the EV movement which is radically changing things too.  On the high performance side of things there are several "800 lbs gorilla" companies that are literally buying everyone up.    Technology now allow companies to introduce new products on a daily basis, not just once a year at a big show.  Add to that, the "old farts" in the industry more than ever before, are getting tired and looking forward to retirement, because things aren't as fun anymore.

Its a brave new world out there...

iansane
iansane Dork
5/20/22 10:12 a.m.

How long until the SEMA show just becomes a big ballsout car show?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/20/22 10:42 a.m.
iansane said:

How long until the SEMA show just becomes a big ballsout car show?

It was a big ballsout car show the first time I went in 2001 or 2002. It's the people that are there for the car show that make it difficult for those who are there for the industry stuff :)

If you're going for the seminars and education, it's still a good show. Haven't been to PRI myself, but some coworkers have in the past. It would be interesting to see how the emissions focus has affected that show.

Looking at the map, Toyota has moved into GM's old spot. I'll bet the SEMA stage is used for feature cars like we see in the main lobby. Hopefully they won't put their broadcast booth in there. Nissan and Stellantis are still listed as attending - it'll be a cold day when Jeep packs up and leaves.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/24/22 11:40 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

PRI is good. It's very much focused on our crowd. 

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