SEMA is called by many to be the “world series” or the “super bowl” of the auto industry and with good reason. For decades auto related businesses around the world all come to Las Vegas for a week to present their absolute best, from new products and services to full blown over the top builds. One of the most important aspects of SEMA are the meetings with current clientele and customers as well as meeting and establishing relationships with new ones. This is a business trip after all, even if it is in Las Vegas! Thus we are proud to present our SEMA 2013 recap below;
The team at Vossen went through various proposals for our presentation and booth this year. The feeling was to create something different to year’s past and different to what everyone else has done at SEMA. Last year our booth was somewhat completely enclosed and the suggestion was made to maybe have a private booth. This way we could really take care of our wonderful customers and clients as well as make people feel “at home”. We felt there was power in providing people with a home-like setting instead of going with a larger booth.
This suggestion quickly gained steam that the booth was going to be private unless an appointment was made with us. There was some reservations to such a booth, from maybe upsetting some people to not having our new wheel lineup showcased for everyone to view. However, we felt strongly the pros outweighed the cons and moved forward with plans.
Furniture was selected for a comfortable yet business look and we decided to play our current videos on three large flat screens with a Bose surround sound system. It was then decided we would provide refreshments, snacks throughout the day including a fully staffed bar in the afternoon, as a way to say “thanks” to our loyal customers, clients, fans and friends that attended from all over the world. Finally we decided to have “wheatpaste” art on our exterior walls to give our booth an edgy, hip and completely different look to what anyone has ever done at SEMA before. We were excited but also nervous as you can imagine.
Most of the team landed Sunday to help put the booth together and some other team members came at various time during the week for their own meetings. One of the highlights was our warehouse manager was rewarded with a trip to SEMA for his efforts in our move to a new facility, his first time attending. You see this week is just as much about the people as it is about the cars. It is about friendships and relationships formed for decades or new ones that will eventually grow.
You might be wondering to yourself what about Vossen booth cars? Last year we shipped the Vossen Project Ferrari 458 Italia and the Mercedes Benz C63 Black Series. This year we decided not to ship any cars as we were fortunate enough to have a strong presence in multiple booths with Vossen equipped vehicles including Accuair’s S7, the Airrex booth with a wide body CTS-V and Ferrari 350 Modena as well as a 2014 Stingray in Toyo Tire’s booth.
One very exciting development was our first official project car from a manufacturer. We were chosen by Lexus to modify and present a new 2014 IS 350 F-sport at SEMA this year. After much debate we decided to repaint the car in Lexus LFA “pearl yellow” from its stock silver and to modify it with a Rowen bodykit by TommyKaira, RS-R Black-i coilovers, Brembo Brakes, Nitto Tires and our new CVT 20″ Directional Wheel. We worked closely with Rob and his team at Platinum Motorsport for this build and they did an incredible job with the vehicle.
We worked crazily trying to finish the booth up Monday night, leaving in the wee hours of the morning trying to perfect the wheat paste. Luckily there was a 7-11 across the street for us to get energy drinks, water and snacks and we even ordered pizza to the convention center. We decided late that night to improvise on the back wall adding by words that represent the Vossen brand.
The SEMA show officially opened on Tuesday and our booth was packed non-stop for the entire week. The feedback we got was overwhelmingly positive about our booth design and we heard it was coined “SEMA Oasis” by attendees. Inside we debuted our upcoming “Flow Form” Series and our latest editions to our upcoming Vossen Precision Series which included our first “full face” forged wheels. We also showcased our new CVT wheel for those that had not yet seen it in person.
The owners of Mondera Japan, Eccentrical from Switzerland and Rus Wheels from Russia spent most of the week with us as we all got to know one another better. The vibe in the booth was laid back yet effective and setting appointments really kept things more organized compared to years past. I think Captain Morgans and Coke was a favorite later in the afternoon. Didn’t hurt to have the Jaro Sisters as our booth models.
Friday is the most laid back day as most start to wear jeans and sneakers and it gives people a chance to walk around the huge convention center. A highlight was a meeting with the team at SpeedHunters and being presented a gift of their latest photo book #joyofmachine. Vossen had a good presence at SEMA with equipped vehicles outside and inside. Highlights outside were “GalvatronHemi’s” purple Challenger parked outside Central Hall where he drove from Long Island, New York to be at SEMA. AGAutomotive also showcased their latest updates on their project IS 350. Inside we had over a dozen vehicles in various booths representing #teamvossen including the Vossen Project IS 350 F-sport.
SEMA week is an exhausting week for sure and you better be prepared with lots of lotion, water and chapstick in the arid desert climate. Part of the team records for video and takes pictures for photography to share and it is a lot of walking with heavy equipment. After the doors close at 5pm, evenings are spent catching up with family on the east coast before hopping in the shower, changing and meeting up for business dinners. We spent our week at Encore at the Wynn which meant some also spent some time in the casino as well. Food choices were utterly superb in many reknown restaurants but on Friday most of the team craved an old fashioned hamburger and fries from IN and Out where we ate as we closed out our week.
The team at Vossen hopes you enjoy the video showing you the week from our eyes as well as our photography to bring you to our small home away from home at SEMA 2013.