General Motors is the latest car manufacturer to decide against attending the upcoming SEMA show in Las Vegas as an exhibitor. The Detroit automaker joins Ford and possibly Honda in sitting out the show this year, which is set to take place on Nov. 1-4, 2022.
In a statement provided to Muscle Cars and Trucks, GM offered little in the way of justification for doing so, saying "GM has made the decision not to participate in the 2022 SEMA Show. The SEMA Show has always inspired us, and accessories and performance parts remain an important part of our business."
GM's absence at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show was first spotted by MC&T on a map of the exhibitor's locations. Chevy confirmed the news after the publication reached out for comment. Ford has officially confirmed its absence from the show, while Honda officially claims to be undecided still.
Needless to say, this is a big deal. Two of the big three aren't going to one of the biggest auto shows on the calendar. While this is purely speculative, one reason Ford and GM have decided against going to a show focusing on aftermarket modifications could be to curry favor with regulators—or at least not place a spotlight on themselves. Recently, COBB Tuning faced the wrath of enthusiasts as pressure to be compliant with CARB forced the company to disable certain features of its popular AccessPort tuning system. Attending a show encouraging aftermarket modification—in light of the COBB news and growing pressure to be greener—might've made the suits at some car companies question the optics of the whole ordeal.
That being said, not all modifications are emissions-related. It could very well be that this is part of the Covid-era trend of automakers moving their marketing budgets away from big in-person events, instead opting for smaller, more localized endeavors. Whatever it is, it doesn't seem good for automotive enthusiasts' morale—or SEMA's bottom line.
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