In the wake of November’s Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada, one of the big takeaways from the event is that Americana is big business in the aftermarket.
American tastes ruled as US-made pickup trucks dominated the show. Again, not really a surprise as the Ford F-series has been the top-selling vehicle in the United States for the past 42 years. In 2018 it was not only the best-selling vehicle in the US with 909,330 units sold but the best-selling vehicle on earth. In second was the Chevrolet Silverado, SEMA’s truck of the Year, with 585,581 units.
Having so many pickup trucks on the road means owners want customization to separate themselves from the pack.
Common upgrades are wheels of all sizes, designs and colours. Don’t want wheels, how about converting to rubber tank treads? Suspension kits raised trucks to ludicrous heights, slammed them to ground, or could do both with the press of a button via air suspension. Need more power? Use one torso-sized turbocharger or three in series.
Pickups were made for weekend activities like grilling, camping, hunting, towing, and yard work to name a few. SEMA manufacturers obliged, providing everything from a literal tailgate grill to the ability to turn a pickup into a camping site. Have to deal with snow? Then why not turn a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited into a snowplough, done. Towing solutions were aplenty, and the modifications don’t stop with the towing vehicle. Recreational off-highway vehicles, side-by-sides, jet skis, bikes in all size, shapes and colours were in on the customization fun.
— Written by Nichola Beckford