Everything About SEMA

It all began in the 1960’s, when a group of automotive aftermarket manufacturers and enthusiast media, fueled with passion, wanted to form an organization and then an annual trade show to represent what they loved. And thus the first SEMA show took place at the then new Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Pioneering companies were Edelbrock, Ansen, B&M, Offenhauser, Petersen Publishing (i.e. Hot Rod and Motor Trend magazine) and more.

SEMA Show at Dodger Stadium

Within a few years, mounting emission and soon after fuel economy requirements, were becoming increasingly important among government leaders and these same aftermarket manufacturers needed to be represented as a whole to work within the emerging automotive aftermarket regulations. SEMA met the needs of the aftermarket marketplace by working with Washington D.C. with both legal and marketing efforts to keep the enthusiast market growing and has continued to grow with that need through the years.

During the 1970’s, SEMA shows were held at the Anaheim Convention ​Center near Disneyland and now for the last 40-plus years, the SEMA Show has been on display at the Las Vegas Convention ​Center. Hundreds of companies, including BendPak with their long list of automotive lifts and shop equipment, new car manufacturers both U.S. and import (Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, Toyota, and others), as well as performance aftermarket, vehicle repair, exhibit their latest products at SEMA each year. SEMA simultaneously works to address new regulatory issues that could impact the automotive market. In addition, SEMA has various other programs such as scholarships, young executive, business women, volunteer and many more aimed at supporting and growing the automotive aftermarket business community.

SEMA Show Bigger and Better Than Ever

Today, SEMA member companies comprise an industry that is close to $30-billion a year and growing. Typical attendance at the Las Vegas Convention Center SEMA show is in the neighborhood of 160,000 people. The show is the second largest to display in Las Vegas each year, eclipsed only by the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

SEMA Show Las Vegas today

Although in the current health environment SEMA 2020 is on hiatus, SEMA continues to work strongly and address a wide range of proposed and pending legislative and regulatory issues targeted at the industry that SEMA represents. And as always, SEMA is a huge marketing partner for its members, the industry, and the enthusiast. SEMA has always demonstrated a strong team ethic with efforts across marketing and regulatory fronts and we look forward to continuing on with that work.