SEMA Introduces ‘Hottest Vehicles’ Awards to Encourage Manufacturer Involvement

SEMA Introduces ‘Hottest Vehicles’ Awards to Encourage Manufacturer Involvement
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There’s no questioning that SEMA is the number one aftermarket automotive show of the year, but there’s also no denying that it has lost a lot of its luster the last couple of years. We can probably blame the economy’s downturn for most of it, but at least now we know that SEMA is trying to work harder to get the automotive manufacturers involved with the aftermarket.

This year SEMA is introducing the Hottest Vehicles awards for the most popular vehicle in the pickup truck, 4×4 and car categories. But judging and selecting the winner isn’t exactly based on what you think it would be. Instead of just finding the coolest car of the show, SEMA officials will count the number of registrations per vehicle and the vehicle with the most registrations will be awarded the Hottest Vehicle of their respective category.

Get it yet? It’s more like a popularity contest in order to get the vehicle manufacturers more involved with the aftermarket companies. It’ll be interesting to see if this has any impact to the show as a whole. How much would you value a SEMA hottest vehicle award when choosing which car to buy?

See the official release (including which vehicles have been nominated for the first ever Hottest Vehicles Awards) after the jump:

PRESS RELEASE
NEW INDUSTRY AWARD TO DEBUT AT THE 2010 SEMA SHOW – SEMA Show Exhibitors Select the Industry’s “Hottest Vehicles” —

DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (September 7, 2010) –SEMA Show exhibitors will choose three outstanding vehicles as the winners of an all-new award, simply called the “SEMA Award.” Presented in three categories – “Hottest Car,” “Hottest Truck,” and “Hottest 4×4-SUV” – the SEMA Award marks the first time ever that the “exhibitor’s choice” will be tallied, recognizing the year’s top trend-setting vehicles.

“The SEMA Award allows us to celebrate the outstanding vehicles and trends in the specialty-parts industry,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “We will be able to tap into the exhibitors’ unique ability to identify what’s hot, just as the trends are gaining momentum.”

To determine the winners of the SEMA Award, Show organizers will survey every booth vehicle at the SEMA Show taking place Tuesday-Friday, November 2-5, 2010, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The most prominent vehicles in three categories – car, truck and 4×4-SUV – will be named winners of the award.

“While the concept is new, it really is based on a phenomenon that we’ve experienced many times before,” said Kersting. “Each year there seemed to be a handful of vehicle models that set the tone for the show – vehicles that are so popular it seems they are dominating at the event.”

With more than 1,500 exhibiting companies each year, the SEMA Show typically includes more than 700 qualified booth vehicles. Modifications range from products that improve performance, safety and convenience, to those that enhance appearance and comfort.

The vehicles that are most likely to be in the running to win the SEMA Award have been identified by a panel of industry experts. Several indicators were used to select the contenders, including preregistrations of feature vehicles, involvement in one or more SEMA OEM collaboration programs, and coverage in enthusiast publications.

“The contenders have proven themselves to be significant in the industry,” said Kersting. “Each contender is noteworthy, whether it’s because of its sales record, previous interest from the industry or from exhibitors, existing accolades or simply the buzz that has surrounded the vehicle.”

The contenders for the first-ever 2010 SEMA Award are:

Hottest Car:

  • Audi A4
  • Chevrolet Camaro
  • Dodge Challenger
  • Ford Fiesta
  • Ford Mustang
  • Honda CR-Z
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Kia Soul
  • Lexus IS
  • Mazda 2
  • Scion tC
  • Suburu Impreza

Hottest Truck:

  • Chevrolet Silverado
  • Dodge Ram
  • Ford F-Series
  • Toyota Tundra

Hottest 4×4-SUV:

  • Ford Explorer
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Suburu Outback
  • Toyota FJ Cruiser

While each contender comes with its own unique list of accolades, it will ultimately be the booth vehicle that is most prevalent at the 2010 SEMA Show that receives the inaugural SEMA Award. The winners will be announced during the 2010 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Additional details about the program and the SEMA Show are available at www.SEMAShow.com.