The aftermarket show of the year is still scheduled to go ahead in November.
The global novel coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than its fair share of automotive events, from the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland, forcing debuts like the BMW i4 and Koenigsegg Gemera to take place online, to the international auto shows in New York and Detroit. Now, we're waiting with bated breath to see whether another tent-pole event gets added to the list: the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show held each November in Las Vegas.
An email from SEMA, sent out to industry professionals and members of the media, said that while the 2020 show is currently scheduled to go on as planned from November 3-6, the organization is monitoring the situation. Ultimately, it "will make decisions based on guidance from local, state, national and international health officials."
"The health and welfare of the industry is a top priority to SEMA, so the association has taken a proactive approach to supporting SEMA members and is working with lawmakers to ensure they are educated and informed about the auto and auto parts industry and how it's affected by Covid-19," the email read in part.
SEMA noted in its message that some of the organization's "more immediate events" have been canceled or postponed due to the pandemic.
SEMA is a unique event on the auto industry calendar, giving OEMs and aftermarket parts suppliers alike the chance to showcase the best they have to offer through scores of custom-built one-off vehicles. The show routinely counts thousands of booths and over 150,000 attendants each year. As far as an auto show goes, it's truly unlike anything else.
But apart from the annual show each November, SEMA also hosts events that provide aftermarket parts suppliers with unique access to new vehicles, so that they can take measurements, make plans, and develop the aftermarket products of tomorrow. Even if the 2020 SEMA Show isn't postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus, there's some question as to how the coronavirus might disrupt member companies' ability to prepare new products to showcase at the event.
At present, the US's current social-distancing recommendations are set to run through at least the end of April, but there's still plenty of time between then and the SEMA Show this November. Hopefully, by then, the country will have again reached something approaching normalcy.