Day 1 Highlights

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SEMA Show 2012 Highlights Day 1

SEMA Shelby Tribute
With the passing of Carroll Shelby on May 10, 2012, the automotive industry lost one of its most legendary entrepreneurs. His creative efforts and partnerships resulted in a legacy of unmatched high performance—leading many to consider him not only the man behind the term “American muscle,” but a driving force for the specialty-equipment market as well.

Throughout this year’s Show, SEMA honors Shelby with a special exhibit entitled, “The SEMA Shelby Tribute.” Located in the northwest corner of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall, the exhibit includes a large wall where Show attendees can write their own personal remarks about Shelby and what he meant to them. Above the wall, a large screen displays changing historical images depicting Shelby, his career and his creations. The space will also play host to several iconic Shelby vehicles, courtesy of Ford Motor Company.

“Carroll Shelby was among the greatest game-changers in the performance automotive industry. He was one of our true living legends and will always be a tremendous inspiration to enthusiasts, racers, designers and those who revel in making horsepower,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. “He shared with so many his passion for performance, customization and style. And he set himself apart not only with international racing breakthroughs, but by bridging the gap between hot rodders and automakers, turning stock vehicles into supercars of global renown.”

“Carroll Shelby was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame in 1986. His life and accomplisments meant a lot to the automotive aftermarket,” added SEMA Show Director Tom Gattuso. “The 2012 SEMA Show offers the perfect opportunity for our industry to memorialize and appreciate Shelby for his many contributions, while saying a final industry goodbye to this exceptional man.

SEMA Award—Vehicles in Four Categories Named Hottest at Show
This year’s SEMA Award for the top trending vehicle models in four categories were announced yesterday here at the SEMA Show. The Ford Mustang was named Hottest Car, the Scion FR-S took the Hottest Sport Compact honors, the Ford F-Series won Hottest Truck and the Jeep Wrangler received the Hottest 4x4-SUV award.

“The SEMA Show has always been about innovative products and trends,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “The SEMA Award amplifies the industry’s special ability to identify and set trends that consumers follow.”

The SEMA Award recognizes vehicle models that specialty-equipment manufacturers believe are the best platforms for accessorization and that showcase the year’s coolest products. It also underscores the cooperative relationship between the automakers and SEMA-member companies.

“The SEMA Award helps guide consumers toward the hottest-trending and most accessory friendly vehicles on the market,” added Kersting. “Our SEMA Show exhibitors are industry visionaries who determine the winners of the SEMA Award based on the vehicles they showcase in their booths. Each booth vehicle represents a ‘vote’ and the most prominent models in each category are the winners.”

The 2012 SEMA Show features more than 2,000 exhibiting companies that manufacture thousands of products designed to improve performance, safety and convenience, as well as those that enhance appearance and comfort. While products are available for every make and model vehicle, exhibitors are investing more in the Ford Mustang, Scion FR-S, Ford F-Series, and Jeep Wrangler than any other vehicles. Consumers, therefore, can expect to find great specialty products for accessorizing these vehicles.

To learn more about the SEMA Award winners and the products that are available for them, visit

The Future of Racing and Performance Explored
Professional racing driver, stunt driver and television host Tanner Foust headlined the Racing and Performance Forum panel session, held on opening day in the VTC Theater. Speakers included Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing; Jim Campbell, leader of General Motors Performance Vehicles and Motorsports; Ralph Gilles, head of Chrysler Design and the SRT Group; and Brain Gale, co-founder of Global Rallycross. An executive and a driver from NASCAR participated in this exciting forum that focused on today’s challenges and the future of racing and performance.
The group addressed a number of issues facing racing today, including the impact of advanced technologies and tighter federal emissions and fuel-efficiency standards on the racing and performance market, and discussed how these standards might affect racing in the near future. Another issue regarding Gen Ys lack of interest in cars affecting racing and performance, was taken up by the group.

Finally, “Does winning on Sunday still translate to selling on Monday?” The highly placed leaders on hand explored these questions and trends and talked about how leading automakers are focusing on matching horsepower with the fastest computing power. The discussion also turned to how best to support existing series, such as NASCAR, and new series, such as Global Rallycross (GRC).

GRC connects with the urban, metropolitan and youth-orientated approach of ESPN’s X Games. The fusing of GRC and X Games has been a catalyst for many action sports athletes migrating from other sports to motorsports and provides an excellent platform for making small cars cool. NASCAR Green is growing stronger and faster than ever and has made significant environmental improvements and technological advancements in sustainability.

The 2012 SEMA Show New Products Award Winners
SEMA announced the winners of the New Products Awards on the opening day of the 2012 SEMA Show. Presented during the Show’s New Products Awards Breakfast, the awards spotlight innovative and cutting-edge automotive products either on the market or about to be introduced. Automotive designer Chip Foose, whose popular series “Overhaulin’” recently returned with an all-new season on Velocity, provided the keynote for the event.

The awards are presented in 16 categories, and the judges’ criteria for selection included quality and craftsmanship, technical achievement, marketability and consumer appeal. More than 2,000 products were submitted for consideration this year.

2012 New Products Award Winners


Best New Collision, Repair and Refinish Product

Winner: Matrix Wand 3-D Blueprinting System, Matrix Wand 3-D Blueprinting and Discovery System

Runner Up: Goliath Carts, D1-A “Mobile Detailer” Detail Cart

Runner Up: PRO-TECH-IT, PRO-TECH-IT Reusable Covers


Best Engineered New Product

Winner: Mastershift, Magnum Paddle and Sequential Type Shifter

Runner Up: Detroit Speed, ’64.5–’70 Mustang Aluma-Frame

Runner Up: MSD Performance, MSD Atomic LS, EFI for LS Engines

Best New Exterior Accessory Product

Winner: Husky Liners, Husky 5th Wheel Tailgate with Backup Camera Mount

Runner Up: Rampage Products LLC,
Self-Contained Electric Mirror and Power Supply

Runner Up: Hornblasters Inc., HornBlasters Jackass 228VX


Best New Interior Accessory Product

Winner: Edge Products/Superchips, TrailDash

Runner Up: Xtreme Outfitters,
Cargo Assault Mount

Runner Up: U-Ace Inc./Formosa Saint Jose Corp., 3D MAXDURA Floor Liner

Best New Merchandising Display

Winner: Extang/TruXedo/UnderCover, UnderCover Flex

Runner Up: AMP Research, PowerStep POP

Runner Up: Extang/Truxedo/UnderCover, UnderCover SwingCase


Best New Mobile-Electronics Product

Winner: INTRAPHEX, Smartphone Integration Device (S.I.D.)

Runner Up: Auto-i (Canada) Corp., Special OE Fit Camera for Commercial Van

Runner Up: Brandmotion, Loftlite LED Interior Lighting Kit

Best New Off-Road/4-Wheel Drive Product

Winner: BedRug Inc., BedRug and BedTred for Jeep

Runner Up: Fuel-Tool, Fuel-Tool PT500 Fuel Transfer System

Runner Up: Hi-Lift Jack Co., Hi-Lift Off-Road Base


Best New Packaging Design

Winner: Edge Products/Superchips, TrailDash

Runner Up: MSD Performance, MSD Atomic EFI, Master Kit Packaging

Runner Up: Solution Finish Trim Restorer, Solution Finish, Rich Evans DIY Kit

Best New Performance-Racing Product

Winner: ATI Performance Products, ATI Cast Aluminum T-400 SuperCase

Runner Up: Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, CTAP-001
Clutch and Throttle Activation Position Switch

Runner Up: Zeitronix Inc., Ethanol Content Analyzer with Flow Through Sensor


Best New Performance-Street Product

Winner: COMP Performance Group, COMP Cams Four-Pattern Camshafts

Runner Up: ProCharger, ProCharger i-1 Supercharger

Runner Up: COMP Performance Group, Inglese Sidedraft EFI System

Best New Powersports Product

Winner: K&N Engineering Inc., K&N Street Metal Intake System

Runner Up: Warn Industries Inc., Warn Vantage 3000-S Powersports Winch

Runner Up: AMSOIL Inc., AMSOIL Dominator Octane Boost


Best New Street-Rod/Custom-Car Product

Winner: MSD Performance, MSD Atomic LS,
EFI for LS Engines

Runner Up: Powertrain Control Solutions (PCS)
Six-Speed Valve Body

Runner Up: Circle Racing Wheels Inc., Original Equipment Style Billet Wheel

Best New Tire and Related Product

Winner: Pirelli Tire North America, Pirelli Cinturato P7 All-Season

Runner Up: Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels, ET Street Radial Pro

Runner Up: Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels, Street Comp


Best New Tools and Equipment Product

Winner: Miller Electric Manufacturing Co., Multimatic 200 TIG/MIG/Stick Welder

Runner Up: Del City, Brake Line Wrench Kits

Runner Up: Wray Products, The Stand Hand Plus

Best New Van/Pickup/Sport-Utility Product

Winner: CURT Manufacturing LLC, Easy Mount Electrical Brackets

Runner Up: AnzoUSA, ’07 and up Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra Five-Function LED Tailgate Spoiler

Runner Up: Elephant Stand, Elephant Stand Swivel Hitch


Best New Wheel and Related Product

Winner: Hotchkis Sport Suspension, Hotchkis Performance Wheels Model–H Sport

Runner Up: Concept One/Klutch Wheels, Concept One Executive CSL5.5

Runner Up: Enkei Wheels, COMPE


 Get Up Close to the Action in the “Overhaulin’” Studio
Head out to the “Overhaulin’” Studio at the 2012 SEMA Show to see the car crafters from the “Overhaulin’” team in action and learn their version of the term “extreme makeover.” The crew is filming a new episode using products from SEMA Show exhibitors as they remake a vehicle over the course of the SEMA Show week, culminating in a surprise reveal. 

With the return of “Overhaulin’,” Foose and his talented team explore engaging human stories and the strong emotional connection between people and their cars. The show’s restoration projects feature deserving individuals, and each recreated vehicle becomes a life-changing surprise for its unsuspecting owner.  

The “Overhaulin’” studio is located in the alcove at the front of the Trucks, SUVs & Off-Road Section in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.