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American Motorists Big on Customization

SEMA Show wraps up – but aftermarket hits record sales.

by on Nov.11, 2013

If there's something you can do with a vehicle, you'll likely find the parts and accessories at SEMA.

Whether you were looking for a high-performance crate engine, off-road tires or something as goofy as “eyelashes” to attach to attach to your car’s headlights, there was seemingly something for everyone wandering through the sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center during the course of the last week.

It was all part of what has come to be known as the SEMA Show, the annual gathering of the Specialty Equipment Marketers Association. The largest trade group for automotive aftermarket suppliers says it’s on track to report close to $32 billion in sales this year, reflected by the record turnout of more than 2,500 vendors and many as 150,000 visitors to this year’s event.

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“Anything you can put on a car or fix a car with, they have it at the SEMA Show,” gaped Chris Perry, the general manager of Chevrolet.

The largest of the General Motors divisions staked out a major presence of its own at SEMA, with dozens of production models and concept vehicles – ranging from a high-performance version of the Spark EV to two special edition Corvettes – on display.


First look: Honda Civic Si Sedan and Coupe

Critical ninth-generation compact replaces spaceship design with swoopy, windswept look.

by on Jan.10, 2011

The 2012 Honda Civic Si Coupe is very likely to look very much like the concept unveiled Monday at the Detroit auto show.

Don’t think for a moment that Honda is ready to give up any ground in a compact market that it has dominated with the Civic, one of its two bread-and-butter products.

On Monday at the Detroit auto show, John Mendel, Honda’s executive vice president for sales, unveiled the exterior of the Civic Si  sedan and coupe concepts. While he did show an interior sketch – showing a slightly more conservative dashboard than the current generation – he said the automaker will officially unveil the interior later.

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The automaker is calling the cars concepts, but they are essentially the cars that will go on sale later this year.

Honda had originally planned to launch the ninth-generation Civic for the 2011 model year, but pushed it back for undisclosed reasons, meaning the car hasn’t been updated since it was launched for the 2006 model year.