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2008 SEMA Car Show - Driver

Survival Of The Fittest Who Will Be Left Standing At This Year's Sema Show?

Scott Tsuneishi
Dec 23, 2008
Turp_0812_01_z+2008_sema_car_show+las_vegas_convention_center Photo 1/2   |   2008 SEMA Car Show - Driver

It's been a rough year for the aftermarket performance industry with many companies, including print media publictions, forced to notch their belts just a wee bit tighter, all thanks to the unstable economy we've experienced this past year. As I sit here typing this column, I sigh a breath of relief as we just finished shipping out another fantastic issue of Turbo, slated as our December SEMA issue, which should hit stands a few weeks before the big dance hits the spotlight in Las Vegas. With plenty of tech stories and buildups crammed from cover to cover, I look forward to offering our dedicated readers another top-notch issue. While the magazine has been living up to its expectations and continues to grow, it's the automotive market's slow expansion and revenue that has many of us scratching our heads trying to figure out what the future has in store for our industry.

This year's SEMA Show will bring us a taste of the harsh reality as we come face-to-face with the unsightly forecast of what to expect in the near future. From popular companies we've grown accustomed to seeing year after year in vendor row vacant from their usual spots to downsizing booth space, last year's products being displayed, or perhaps one-man sales representation, all could be a common occurrence at this year's show. Of course, this is all speculation. I'm not claiming to be the next Nostradamus. I'm just piecing together clues of a battered market and its revealing aftermath.

What segment in the automotive industry has been hit the hardest? Without a doubt, it's the truck market with the high cost of diesel gasoline. If gas continues its uphill climb, we'll without a doubt see more trucks parked in driveways and on sales lots. Perhaps the only strong showing or insurgence at this year's show is the knockoff artists and overseas companies, many of which I like to refer to as nuclear cockroaches that will take full advantage of the weak American economy and dollar to expand their products or, better yet, perfect their product-copying techniques to a whole new level.

Turp_0812_02_z+2008_sema_car_show+scott_tsuneishi Photo 2/2   |   2008 SEMA Car Show - Driver

Among the negative speculations and glum outlook that many assume the market will endure, it's still only a matter of time before we see the industry climb out of this slump and heal from its wounds. Of course, this recovery is slow and manufacturers or magazine publications themselves can't do the painstaking processes alone. It starts with you as the consumer to support everyone in the enthusiast community, whether it be buying a part for your car or simply just attending local events and car shows. Our industry deserves our own revenue within the community. Let those V-8-loving hot-rod guys keep to their four-barrel carburetors and Lakewood traction bars. We'll stick to what we know best, building high-horsepower four- and six-banger cars faster and with greater efficiency.

By Scott Tsuneishi
247 Articles

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