November 7, 2006

SEMA 2006 Recap
Text and Photos by: Neil McGarry

Las Vegas has had its share of unique conventions over the years, but if you’re an automotive (and especially and aftermarket automotive) enthusiast then the SEMA show has got to be one of the best. SEMA – the Specialty Equipment Market Association – is a trade association whose members make, buy, sell and use specialty parts and accessories for cars, trucks and SUVs. The annual show now attracts more than 100,000 attendees from around the world.

SEMA, however, is a little different than many of the auto shows which AudiWorld covers throughout the year; it is a true “working” show where thousands of domestic and international buyers come to see new parts, tools and accessories. Many others in the industry come for educational seminars, product demonstrations or to simply network. The media, of course, is still invited, but the show is not open to the general public.

A few highlights really stuck out for us this year, including Oettinger’s Ibis White B7 S4 Avant complete with body kit and CEC Signature Wheels, the Oettinger A3 in the Tokico booth, silver Q7’s by both German uber-tuners MTM and Nothelle and last but not least the RS4 driven by Mario Andretti in this year’s Bull Run 2006.

The lowlight for us turned out to be a corrupted memory card resulting in the loss of most of our photo gallery. A few photos were salvaged, however, and luckily for all a separate photographer handled the Babes of SEMA coverage.

While Audi’s corporate parent VW had a display booth for the 2nd straight year (incidentally displaying an absolutely wicked APR-built Stage III GTI), Audi itself still has no official presence at the show. That said we spoke to a handful of Audi representatives at SEMA this year, and while no official reason was offered for their attendance it is obvious that they prefer to keep close tabs on the state of Audi in the aftermarket.

Resources:
  • SEMA 2006 Photo Gallery
  • Babes of SEMA 2006 Photo Gallery
  • SEMA 2006 Discussion Forum Thread
  • SEMA Official Website