Notable SEMA Show Updates

Several announcements regarding the Oct. 30-Nov. 2 SEMA Show have been made in the past few days. Here’s a summary of some information you may have missed:

SEMA Launch Pad Names Judges

The judges for the SEMA Launch Pad event have been announced. They include:

  • Greg Adler-Adler is executive vice chairman of Transamerican Auto Parts and serves the SEMA Board of Directors. He has grown up in the truck and Jeep industry with more than 25 years at the company in various roles, including 13 years as CEO.
  • Ron Coleman-Coleman is the president of COMP Performance Group, which includes COMP Cams, FAST, TCI and RHS. He is a former SEMA Chairman of the Board and a member of the SEMA Hall of Fame.
  • Vaughn Gittin, Jr.-World-champion drifter Gittin, Jr. is best known for his aggressive, foot-to-the-floor, big-smoke driving style from behind the wheel of the No. 18 Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D. He also races in Ultra4 off-road and has competed in Trans AM and NASCAR Canada.
  • Wade Kawasaki-Kawasaki is the president and chief operating officer of the Coker Group and chairman of the SEMA board. In his executive role, Kawasaki oversees the 12 Coker Group brands and six operating companies.
  • Sean Holman-Holman is a longtime automotive enthusiast and journalist who has been with the Motor Trend Group since 2003, holding editorial staff positions at Truckin’Truckin’s SUV and Four Wheeler, eventually taking on the editor positions at 4×4 Garage – JK Edition and Diesel Power.

SEMA Launch Pad finalists will pitch their automotive aftermarket products or services to the judges who will decide the winner. The SEMA Launch Pad live competition is set for Oct. 29 at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino Theater.

This year’s grand-prize package includes a $10,000 award to be used for the benefit of the winner’s business, a turnkey exhibit space at the 2019 SEMA Show, and multiple marketing and exposure packages.

‘Vehicles of the Year’ Announced Before The Show

The annual SEMA Awards, given to the top-trending vehicle models in five categories, will be presented before the SEMA Show for the first time. The awards will be handed out on Monday, Oct. 29, the day before the 2018 SEMA Show officially opens.

In past years, the awards had been presented on the first day of the SEMA Show, during the New Products Breakfast. Previously referred to as the Hottest Vehicles, the honors will be given out to the SEMA Car of the Year, SEMA Truck of the Year, SEMA 4×4/SUV of the Year, SEMA Sport Compact of the Year and, for the first time ever, the SEMA Powersports Vehicle of the Year. Ballots for the SEMA Awards were sent in early September to SEMA Show exhibiting manufacturers who will vote to determine the winners.

Visit for more information.

ZZ Ward Set to Perform

SEMA Show attendees will be treated to live music by blues-inspired, rock-pop artist ZZ Ward throughout the week.

ZZ Ward will perform during the Exhibitor Appreciation Reception on Oct. 29, the SEMA Industry Awards Banquet on Nov. 1 and SEMA Ignited on Nov. 2. The artist will also make an appearance at the SEMA Central in the main lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center where other industry icons, celebrities and influencers are interviewed.

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