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Come visit the Chevy booth! There's lots of room to walk around! Zane Merva Executive Editor / Publisher , GM-Trucks.com 11/02/18 The Answer We're killing Betteridge's law of headlines. Yes. The Setup Arrive at SEMA and the first thing you see and hear is the sound of Ford Mustangs and F-150 Raptors in the front parking lot giving hot laps and jumps to convention goers. All in front of a HUGE crowd. In the back parking lot, Kia was also offering hot, tire squealing rides in the new Stinger. Both events had long lines and awestruck crowds. From the outside, SEMA could have been seen as a Ford and Jeep Show. Ford product was everywhere. Wranglers were in every booth. PPG's booth changes every single year and dazzles with detail and color The Competition Inside, Ford's display included dozens of cars, concepts, tricked out race Mustangs, and super lifted F-150s. Toyota had a lineup that attracted attention and whispers SEMA wide, a lineup of every generation Supra, including the new one. Mopar's booth (Chrysler, RAM, Dodge) was vibrant, alive, and interactive. And packed. Rich, interesting, vibrant. The booth pulls you in. MOPAR always kills it. The Home Team Then, there was Chevrolet. No interactive experiences, same booth from the last 10 years, no true concept vehicles, and the predictable COPO Camaro. Sure, there was a few 2019 Silverado and Colorado with Chevy Performance Accessories, but you'd be hard pressed to know that unless you looked at the detail card in front of each vehicle. The redesigned Camaro was showcased next to the COPO Drag Camaro and eCOPO electric Drag Camaro. But everyone was confused. Was this the actual production look? Or would Chevy change the design again? The all new Blazer made an appearance but in pre-production trim only and looking way too good to come off an assembly line. Chevrolet canceled it's 10+ year streak of Pre-SEMA kickoff parties this year, leaving media and enthusiasts in the dark about what the company was truly proud about. I personally attempted to get a rundown of the vehicles that would be on display weeks ahead of the show. My request was only replied to after three follow ups. Even then, the company representative only told me there wasn't a kickoff event and nothing about what the brand was showing off. Okay then. Before we even touched down in Vegas it was apparent Chevy didn't care too much about the show this year. The crowd trying to photograph the line of Supra was intense The Show Vibe Aside from manufacturer's efforts to wow and dazzle SEMA-goers, the amount and types of vehicles on display in the independent booths also set the vibe for the show. In years past, Chevy killed it in this regard. During the launch of the 5th-gen Camaro, the new model was in almost every booth. Same with the 2014 Silverado. Independent accessory manufacturers wanted and needed to have those new models in their booth to attract customers. This was the coolest thing in the entire Chevy booth. A 1978 "Silverado Concept" This year, despite the biggest truck launch of Chevrolet's existence, the 2019 Silverado was a rare beast to find in the halls of SEMA 2018. Only twenty 2019 T1XX pickups were to be found in the Truck/Off Road section. Now, compare that to hundreds of 2019 RAMs and Jeep Wranglers. (The 2019 Wrangler killed it this year and was EVERYWHERE). Large companies like Truck Hero and Lund had one or two 2019 Silverado but three or four 2019 RAM and maybe ten Wranglers. Yay, we found one! What Should Have Happened Chevrolet missed a giant opportunity this year at SEMA 2018. At minimum, the brand should have: Taken Toyota's cue and had an "every generation" lineup of pickups. The photo opportunities would have been amazing and the foot traffic would have been through the roof. Never canceled the customary kick-off welcome event for enthusiasts. Just omitting that one opportunity to pump up the brand gave no room for excitement to take off before the show. Expanded or embellished the booth. Chevy's footprint was underwhelming and pedestrian compared to even smaller industry players. Continued to offer their Camaro/Corvette hot lap experience to get show goers excited. Pushed 2019 Silverados out to independent companies for display like candy is given to kids on Halloween. "It's a wide non-descript wall of parts with super high prices" could have been Chevy's theme this year. Did Chevy botch this year's SEMA Show? Yes, I think so. But.... Only the brand can tell you if they got what they were looking for. As an enthusiast, I left wanting more. Much, much more.
Zane Merva Executive Editor, GM-Trucks.com 10/25/18 GM-Trucks.com will be making our annual trek to Las Vegas next week for the 2018 SEMA Show. We're excited to be going back to Sin City after our trip last year was sidelined by a freak windstorm. What is the SEMA Show? It's the largest business to business automotive trade show in the world. Over 150k industry buyers, media, and representatives are slated to attend the three day show next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The public isn't invited, so getting into the place isn't as easy as most would like. Inside, the SEMA Show is an verified automotive candy store. Custom cars, parts, aftermarket accessories, paints, wheels, and anything automotive is on display for your viewing pleasure. Experts are on hand to answer any questions you have about anything. For many automotive industry giants SEMA holds the key to another year of sales contacts and business success. It's the only time of the year where all of their suppliers, distributors, and customers are in one place. The SEMA Show is LIFE to many automotive companies. Which is exactly why we attend every year we can. To sample the industry vibe, see the new products, and say hi to old friends. Join us next Tuesday and Wednesday as myself, @Josh and @Chris walk the show floor and share with you the best of the automotive world. While you're excited, head on over to our YouTube channel and subscribe! We'll be going LIVE from the show and bringing you along for the ride. The GM-Trucks.com YouTube Channel Here's some photos from SEMA over the past few years. Research SEMA and the SEMA Show on Wikipedia