The first day of the show featured New Product Award winners, custom build reveals and the quarterly CIC meeting.
The 2023 SEMA Show officially opened Oct. 31 at the Las Vegas Convention Center with the first of four days of product demonstrations, exhibits and educational opportunities for the automotive aftermarket industry, including collision repair.
The industry-only Show runs through Nov. 3, followed immediately by the inaugural SEMA Fest, Nov. 3-4, which invites the public to enjoy two days of music acts and immersive experiences at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds.
SEMA Kick-Off Breakfast
Before the doors opened on the Show, attendees were invited to the Kick-Off Breakfast, where the New Product Award winners in 18 categories were announced, as well as the winners of the Manufacturer of the Year and the Channel Partner of the Year awards.
Goliath Carts, Hunter Engineering Best New Product Winners
Goliath Carts was the Best New Product winner in the collision repair and refinish category for its destructive test weld stand, while Hunter Engineering won in the Advanced Driver Assistance System category for its Ultimate ADAS.
The MSO Symposium, an annual one-day conference created by and for multi-shop owners and operators, was held Oct. 30, the day before the Show opened. More than 300 people attended, the most in its 12-year history.
Bart Mazurek, vice president of consulting services for CCC Intelligent Solutions' automotive services group, shared data indicating direct repair claims were up 3% in the third quarter of this year---good news for the MSOs that tend to focus more on DRP work.
"When you look at 2022 versus 2023, there are more appraisals across all channels from last year to this year, more appraisals written regardless of DRP or not, Mazurek said. "But what's really important is that the DRP market actually took a bigger piece of the pie this year because other channels shrank a little bit. So that means more work for the MSOs."
In the afternoon, Autobody News columnist Mike Anderson of Collision Advice moderated a panel of MSO operators discussing the challenges and opportunities of growing a multi-shop operation.
The Collision Industry Conference (CIC) met Oct. 31 as part of SEMA, marking the 40th anniversary of the quarterly conference. The Data Access, Privacy and Security Committee held a panel discussion focusing on what shops should consider about end-user licensing agreements (EULAs) and what they mean in terms of the shop s and customer's data when using scan tools or third-party service providers.
The Talent Pool and Education Committee offered an update on the Collision Engineering Program, now in place at more than a half dozen schools around the country; the two-year program trains students by rotating them every eight weeks between school and working in a shop.
And Cole Strandberg of Focus Investment Banking, host of Autobody News' podcast, The Collision Vision, participated in a panel discussion about consolidation in the industry. "I don't think there has been a better time in history to be an owner in the collision repair industry," Strandberg said at the conclusion of the discussion. "I think your options are incredible. Whether you want to sell now, whether you want to grow, whether you want to specialize, you only have great options."
Dave Kindig Reveals Custom Build
Stay tuned to autobodynews.com or pick up your region's December issue for full coverage of all of these stories from SEMA and more.