Two of the biggest automaker exhibitors at SEMA, Ford and Honda, are dropping out of the show this year. This came in an announcement from SEMA, initially spotted by The Drive. As such, the automakers won't have their displays on the floor. With that being said, it's possible the companies will still announce things at a similar time as the show, like some have with other big auto shows.
In fact, a representative from Ford said that we can still expect to see stuff from the company around SEMA. Specifically, the representative said, "Ford will still have a presence at SEMA, but instead of our traditional displays, we look forward to showcasing our winning portfolio of vehicles in select displays at the show and digitally online. We will share more details closer to SEMA."
We've also reached out to Honda for comment, but haven't received a reply at the time of writing. We will update this post if we hear back.
Still, both companies pulling out their official displays is quite surprising, since both automakers have had a large footprint at SEMA. Ford in particular has had their exhibit square in the middle of one of the main halls at the show, and the company typically exhibits many vehicles built by collaborators. Honda has also exhibited many of their vehicles customized by partners as well as cars and parts from their motorsports and accessories divisions. Still, as Ford noted, there will be vehicles from them at other displays, and we expect many Honda models will appear throughout, too.
SEMA said that the space vacated by the automakers will provide areas for other existing exhibitors to expand into, such as brands from GM, Stellantis, Toyota and Nissan. And Volkswagen will be coming back to the show with official presence. The company has in the past had some SEMA exposure.
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 freshened performance models and also to show some interesting extensions for our burgeoning range of sport-utility vehicles."
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