As the automotive accessories industry grows, 14 automakers participated in the annual Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Assn. Show this month in Las Vegas.

“We are very pleased to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the SEMA show this year with the theme ‘American Muscle: Past, Present and Future,’” says Carl Sheffer, SEMA's vice president-OEM relations.

He says the focus on the Detroit Big Three included several special vehicle displays in various locations throughout the show.

“It has been a lot of fun working with Ford, the Chrysler Group and General Motors.” says Sheffer.

Unique business-to-business opportunities provided by collaborations with auto makers at the show included:

  • Tech Transfer. It's a program initiated by SEMA by which its members are given access to confidential technical data from OEM partners in advance of public disclosure.
  • Measuring Sessions. Qualified SEMA members took important measurements of new vehicles that provide the platform for SEMA members' accessory and aftermarket products.
  • OEM Tech Talks. These are round table discussions where SEMA members discussed new products and changes in current models with key OEM engineers.

Such interaction helps save product development time and money, and bring aftermarket products to market at the same time new vehicles arrive at showrooms.

Auto companies participating in the 2006 SEMA show are GM, Ford, Chrysler, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Scion, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen and American Honda.