GM Accessories is also gauging market reaction to potential new products, including a modular pull-down sliding roof rack system and retractable side steps on the GMC Yukon and a new cargo rail system on the GMC Sierra.
Sport Truck Of The Year AwardNissan Titan team members and senior execs received our award for the Titan's winning effort in our Sport Truck of the Year competition, from editorial director and editor of Sport Truck magazine, Kevin Wilson. Shown are Jed Connelly, senior vice president, Nissan North America (right) and Fred Suckow, director of marketing, Nissan division, Nissan North America, (left). Fred was formerly the Titan marketing manager. Also on hand for our applause was Orth Hedrick, regional program manager, Pathfinder and Xterra, product planning, Nissan North America. Orth was Titan product planner for four years until recently promoted. We were fortunate as well to have Mark McNabb, vice president and general manager, Nissan division, Nissan North America; Simon Sproule, vice president, corporate communications, Nissan North America; and Kurt von Zumwalt, director of product communications, corporate communications, Nissan North America, at our presentation. Kudos once again to Nissan North American for building the best of the new trucks for 2004.
ToyotaThe big SEMA news from Toyota was its showing the all-new NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series racing engine and the announcement shortly before the show that it has reached agreements with Bang Racing, Bill Davis Racing, Innovative Motorsports Inc., and Waltrip Racing Inc. to campaign Toyota Tundra race trucks in the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
Toyota announced its entry in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series last February at the Chicago Auto Show. The Toyota Tundra race-truck body and chassis were submitted to NASCAR in July, and the first track test was conducted in August at Caraway Speedway. TRD U.S.A. has designed and developed the Tundra Racing V-8 for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in its Costa Mesa, California, facility.
'03 Tundra Nascar Craftsman Truck EngineType: Toyota NASCAR V-8Displacement: 358 ciPower: 650 bhpInduction: Normally aspirated with carburetorBore: 4.185 inchesStroke: 3.250 inchesCompression Ratio: 12.0:1Engine Design: Toyota Racing Development, USAFuel: Racing gasolineFuel Pump: TRDExhaust: TRD
Ford Motor CompanyAs the official Manufacturer of Show for 2003, Ford unveiled the largest ever exhibit from an auto manufacturer - a 65,000-foot display space highlighted by 14 customized versions of its all-new '04 Ford F-150.
Ford also announced the continuation of its Ford/SEMA Technology Initiative, which provides SEMA members with advanced access to future-product information. The relationship includes giving computer-aided design (CAD) data to aid aftermarket companies in the design and engineering of customized parts well in advance of a new vehicle's introduction.
This successful information sharing already has allowed aftermarket companies to market and sell more than 100 items available on the '04 F-150, as well as begin the engineering work necessary to prepare for the launch of customized parts for the next-generation '05 Mustang this year.
Why is Ford (and the other manufacturers for that matter) so interested in the SEMA show? According to Phil Martens, Ford's group vice president of product creation, "U.S. consumers spend $27 billion annually in aftermarket parts and service, and more than a third of that is on light trucks." And because Ford is introducing the largest wave of new products in its history - from the new F-150 and this year's Mustang to several all-new products in new segments - Martens says Ford intends to have hot product news every year that SEMA members will love.