Come visit the Chevy booth! There's lots of room to walk around!
Executive Editor / Publisher , GM-Trucks.com
We're killing Betteridge's law of headlines. Yes.
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
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.
Executive Editor, GM-Trucks.com
Day one of SEMA 2018 is almost already in the books and we've barely made it through the South Hall (which houses the Truck/Off-Road section) trying to get our eyes on every customized 2019 being shown inside exibitor's booths. There's no way we'll see everything but what we have seen already is impressive. Accessories for the all new Sierra and Silverado are coming out in force, even if the trucks are still trickling into dealerships.
Although the new fullsize pickups are GM's hot new thing, the automaker has not made it a focus of this year's show. That means, while we're seeing a ton of 2019 Silverado and Sierra, there are 2x as many 2019 Dodge Ram and 5x as many Jeep Wranglers.
Here's what we've seen so far. We'll add more photos to this thread as we take them.
I am wanting to trade in my 14 silverado 1500 for something thats rated to pull more weight. I notice on Chevrolet's website that the commercial silverado 1500 w/ 3.73 rear axle ratio has a 15000/16700lbs w max trailering package rating. Every dealership I've called doesn't know what I am talking about so can someone verify for me that this configuration of the Silverado exists?!
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