Las Vegas, Nevada
This year's week-long SEMA show was quite similar to last year's. If you're a Honda fan, that's not such a good thing. Honda presence has faltered considerably over the years, while domestic car attendance has continued to steadily increase. The 3,200,000-sq-ft Las Vegas convention center has no problem hiding any type of Honda activity as row upon row of vendor booths are placed systematically throughout the endless sea of trampled carpet. In fact, other than 2005's "Year of the Civic" show, Hondas built specifically for SEMA are all but non-existent; a far cry from the days when the mammoth event brought out countless new offerings for the H badge. A sad site, but we as Honda fanatics know that our community has always had a knack for flying below the radar, and remained well versed in survival tactics.
Though they were tough to find, there were a few of the regular Honda icons in attendance, along with some new faces. Honda of America presented a lesson in race heritage with open-wheel race cars, full race engines, and even a few club racing displays that served as polar-opposites to the newly-released Mugen Accord aero kit, and the long-talked-about Accord Crosstour platform.
While many consider SEMA the ultimate platform for unveiling new products, most of the Honda-based businesses chose to use their budgets for magazine and online advertising in 2009. With the economy in shambles, it's no surprise to see a lack of participation, especially from the smaller companies in the import industry. With any luck, things will take a turn for the better, and we'll start seeing more Honda activity at SEMA 2010. Keep your fingers crossed...