Two of the largest automakers’ exhibitors at SEMA, Ford and Honda, are closing the show this year. This came in an announcement from SEMA, initially noticed by The Drive. As such, the car manufacturers will not have their displays on the floor. That said, it’s possible the companies are still announcing things at the same time as the show, as some have done with other major auto shows.
In fact, a Ford representative said we can still expect things from the company around SEMA. In particular, the representative said: “Ford will still have a presence at SEMA, but in lieu of our traditional displays, we look forward to showcasing our winning portfolio of vehicles in select displays at the show and digitally online. sharing details closer to SEMA.”
We have also reached out to Honda for comment but have not received a response at the time of writing. We’ll update this post if we hear anything.
Still, it’s surprising that both companies are pulling out their official displays, given that both automakers have had a large footprint at SEMA. Ford, in particular, has its exhibit plaza in the center of one of the show’s main halls, and the company typically exhibits many employee-built vehicles. Honda has also showcased many of their vehicles modified by partners, as well as cars and parts from their motorsport and accessories divisions. Still, as Ford noted, there will be vehicles of theirs on other displays, and we expect many Honda models to appear as well.
SEMA said the space cleared by the automakers will provide room for other existing exhibitors to expand, such as GM, Stellantis, Toyota and Nissan brands. And Volkswagen will return to the show with an official presence. The company has had some SEMA exposure in the past.
As for the decision, a VW representative told us: “We thought it was a good opportunity to demonstrate the aftermarket potential with our newly introduced and refreshed performance models and also to showcase some interesting additions to our burgeoning range of sports utility vehicles.”