For five years running, the folks at SEMA have rolled out the red carpet and opened the doors to the import performance world with their inspirational and awe-inspiring show, the International Auto Salon. This year's event was so large the venue had to be changed from its previous location in Long Beach to the L.A. Convention Center in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. If you've ever wondered what the SEMA show in Las Vegas is like, the International Auto Salon is the place for you to be. The event is open to the public and has the added benefit of filtering out most of the non-import stuff you don't want to see.
In attendance, more than 200 manufacturers showed off their wares, including several OEMs like Honda, Hyundai, and Dodge, pushing their latest sport compact creations on the aftermarket. Major players in the aftermarket also displayed and debuted the latest and greatest creations from the minds and hands of their engineers and fabricators. Everything from show-quality towing equipment to advanced engine management systems to super high-tech bolt-ons and procedures could be found on the floor.
Of course, Vision Entertainment reserved a section of the floor for all-day entertainment that included live musical acts, giveaways, and more. The superstars of the import industry, like Stephan Papadakis, Lisa Kubo, and Grant Downing, were on hand to dispense autographs and press the flesh with us "common folk." And oh, the girls-Mary J., Natasha, Cherie, Sasha, Rowena, Courtney, and J. Lo. Wait-J. Lo wasn't really there, but there was enough Bootylicious bubble gum to keep us all drooling throughout the day.
Next spring, keep your eyes peeled for the IAS show and mark your calendars in advance. It's sure to be a show you don't want to miss. In the meantime, drool over our coverage of this year's extravaganza while we work on eliminating our hangovers.