My next step was to check in at registration. Back in the day, I never had to do this as for 30 years someone always took care of these finer points for me. I was proud to see that I could manage this by myself. After identifying myself at the press and media check-in spot, the part-time, retired person manning the booth looked at me and said, “Well, we are certainly not giving out many of these this year.” Again, I have stumbled upon another impeccable source on attendance details.
I could continue to bring evidence of smaller turnout this year but the real story would be if the opposite were true. What did impress me, however, was the force that was shown by Ford Motor Co. The company’s presence and marketing was everywhere. Ford reported a profit last quarter and they weren’t wasting any time in looking to build upon and widen their market share.
It was interesting to see the auto build-outs in the Ford booth showcasing Alpine, Sony and MTX products in their vehicles. Here again, even with branded aftermarket product, this OEM is leading consumer awareness to in-vehicle entertainment, safety and security. Many of the same manufactures whose products were demonstrated in these Ford vehicles, choose not to participate with booth space at this annual show. Why? While it is comforting to understand that a number of the companies that choose not to show at SEMA are in fact supporting the 12-volt initative in hopes of raising awareness of aftermarket solutions, their absence at this show was still noted.