Bernie's Car Show Coverage: 2018 SEMA Show

Nov 9, 2018

I've been to a lot of car shows. But there's that one show that always holds a special place in my heart which is the Speciality Equipment Marketing Association, better known as SEMA. I hold SEMA to a high regard and for the past nine years, SEMA hasn't failed me. Yes, I've been going to SEMA for nine years.

As we all know, I love a good car show, but technically SEMA isn't a car show- it's a trade show. It's a trade show that allows allows those in the automotive industry to see what’s new and the latest trends as well as how the product enhances the look of a vehicle, network with companies, learn how to grow your business in various ways, and also hobnob with some celebrities in the automotive world. Attendees from as close as down the street to as far away as Australia gathered together at the Las Vegas Convention Center to celebrate what was SEMA’s 52nd show.

I've said it many, many times that "I live for SEMA". When I arrived at the convention center, I don't think the car completely stopped when I jumped out. Barely surviving off of four hours of sleep, I could not stop smiling. Once I’m done crying tears of joy, I dive right into the chaos- I meet great people who share some of the same similarities as I do and photograph great vehicles while enjoying some great weather.

Last year, I made the best decision by landing the day before the show started. It gave me a chance to get a head start with the majority of the outdoor photos. I had the opportunity to watch the crew scramble to get everything together in time for the next day. I watched as Forgiato wheel company move cars around, Liberty Walk applying decals to the vehicles in their booth, contractors laying down carpet, detailers washing cars, owners putting that final coat of tire shine on their prized possessions. Yes, I was in the way of many people, taking in all the energy.

As far as trends that I've noticed- paint is dead. There were a lot of wrapped vehicles- both in chrome, glossy, and matte finishes. There were a ton of full sized trucks on raised suspension.  Toyo Tires was definitely the tire of choice and I'm sure they went through a lot of them in the Hoonigan area, the most popular wheel companies were Rotiform, Forgiato, and Savini (however Vossen Wheels and HRE Performance Wheels were the runner ups) wide body cars, there were a lot of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Nissan GTRs, but there were more exotic vehicles this year- two Pagani Huartas (the one parked outside wasn't roped off), a Koenigsegg Agera RS (that wasn't roped off), a Lamborghini Centenario (that wasn't roped off) and a Bugatti Veyron (that wasn't roped off at first, but eventually was roped off). I was reunited with the Lamborghini Urus. I was first introduced to it earlier this year at the New York Auto Show, but thankfully, Giovanna Wheels was the only company that brought one to SEMA. However...

Forgiato wheels brought the most photographed and talked about vehicle. This was Marketing 101.

At the end of the day, I had a fabulous time in Vegas and I will return next year for my tenth SEMA Show. I still have a lot of photos to post, but I didn't want to hold up this post. So to see photos from this year's SEMA Show, click on the link for each day- SEMA Sneak Peek, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4. And yes, I was sad during SEMA Ignited because it marked the end of the 2018 SEMA Show.
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