Aftermarket History Continues with 2006 SEMA Show and K&N in Las Vegas

K&N Engineering, Inc. has been the World leader in performance filter technology since 1969. With more than 35 years of air filtration experience, K&N prides itself as being the innovator of the unique cotton air filtration system and creating the World’s Best High-Flow Air Filter. Headquartered in Riverside, California, the family run company serves the needs of the powersports, automotive, marine, industrial and military markets all over the world.

On March 26, 1963 a small group of manufacturers formed a group called the Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA). One of the goals was to develop uniform standards for products. There were only 36 original members.

K&N Engineering booth at SEMA 2005
K&N Engineering booth at SEMA 2005
Around 1967, the SEMA name changed to Specialty Equipment Manufacturing Association, to reach out to a wider base of automotive manufacturers. As emissions and safety issues on vehicles became consumer concerns, speed on city streets took a back seat. The original market had expanded.

K&N Engineering has been a member of SEMA for around 30 years. “One of the original SEMA shows was at Dodger Stadium,” said Steve Williams, K&N Vice President of Product Development and Engineering. “In the early days everyone sold product and everyone shared. The whole industry was smaller back then and you met your customers.”

The early shows were masking tape and card table venues. Competitors in the automotive industry met face-to-face and showcased their new products to potential buyers. “In the past most manufacturers were family run,” said Williams. “The industry was entrepreneurial in nature. Even though they competed there was more unity at the time. People shared concerns and executed solutions.”

In the early 1970s marketing techniques and sophisticated exhibits could be seen throughout SEMA. The show moved to the Anaheim Convention Center and attendance increased dramatically. SEMA developed a reputation as a place where business was done.

The organization to grow and was moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1977. In 1979, SEMA became the Specialty Equipment Market Association to meet the needs of those involved in specialty automotive equipment, not just manufacturers.

Today the annual SEMA Show is held usually in late October or early November in Las Vegas, in conjunction with the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week. SEMA and other automotive aftermarket trade organizations make-up the single largest event on the Las Vegas calendar.

K&N's 2003 Infinity G35 at SEMA 2005
K&N's 2003 Infiniti G35 at SEMA 2005
In 2006 more than 100,000 will be attending the world’s largest parts and accessories extravaganza. More than 7500 booths will cover 3 million square feet at the Las Vegas Convention Center at the end of October.

K&N will have a booth to show what sets the company apart from the rest. Employees will talk to customers and potential customers and showcase new products and technology. K&N plans to share test data and release its latest marketing program and unveil two very special cars.

SEMA and K&N were started by people who loved vehicles and turned their hobby into a career. SEMA members make, buy, sell and use all kinds of specialty parts and accessories in the multi-billion dollar automotive industry.

Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.


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