SEMA 2009


From Jarred Williams.

Dear SOEC members,

Not too sure where to start except to say that SEMA was by far my best car experience. I spent the past couple days with Ford Motor Company, and the Advertising Manager of Automobile Magazine, Patrick Cannon (Source Interlink Media Group). It was quite a unique experience as I was under assignment to collect footage and amateur photos of the event and speak to my experience. I was fortunate enough to share it with my best friend (and fellow Saleen owner, Chris Jones) and he too was shocked by the large crowds and the plethora of modded vehicles (mostly Camaro’s, lol). We met and spoke with many great people and admired all of the over-the-top displays that showcased their products.

The day had started with an editor from Automobile Magazine, going over the itinerary for the day. The specific assignment was to compile footage for a contest sponsored by Ford Motor Company. The footage would then be featured to compete against other submissions by other guests of Ford Motor Company and Automobile Magazine. Our first priority was speaking to Jess Albright and David Byron about the launch of their new product, the Saleen S281. We were able to set up a video interview with David to inform us about the all new S-line, as well as the 435S. Both vehicles were quite impressive and it was exciting to see that the S-line was remaining true to it’s heritage, inspired by none other than Steve Saleen. It was also exciting to see that Saleen had a very passionate bunch working hard to bring a quality vehicle to market. The all-new S281 is nothing short of amazing with it’s Octane Red custom color amongst other features that make this “Unmistakably Saleen”.

We were also able to break away to get a signature by Steve Saleen at the SMS booth. During the signing, my cohort explained how his late Saleen #20 ’04 S281SC, was totaled when Steve began to entice Chris into a future SMS product. We were able to speak with Steve Atneyel about the engineering involved in the new line. The parts line-up are grade A quality with some of visual designs by none other than Phil Frank. Steve is on the right track with this new product line. SMS.

The rest of the day was spent taking footage of different press conferences and conversing with the Marketing Director for the Ford Mustang. We were able to hear what went into making the all new 2010 Mustang, as well as give constructive feedback and/or insight into the future of the vehicle. It was very exciting to hear Fords (undisclosed) upcoming plans for the Ford Focus RS and hopes of it coming to the US soon. During the event, we were able to see all the different styles of Mustangs coming to market such as Steeda’s Mustang and Vaughn Gittin’s unique design. We had the opportunity to interview Daniel Verlarde who was the winner of the ’10 Unleashed Mustang. You may have seen his ad’s featured in Motor Trend with the tattoo on his arm, (created by L.A. Ink) transferred to his Mustang. Ford also pushed the excitement of the all-new SVT Raptor and various upgraded models (including R and XT models). There was a simulator at the Ford Booth that put you in the seat of an SVT Raptor on a dirt track. It was intense at times but none-the-less, great fun!

Wrapping up the day included unloading all of our footage and photos to an editor and going around collecting autographs from various stars of SEMA. Although we spent most of the day collecting information from exhibitors, we did enjoy playing Forza Motorsport 3 at the “Turn 10 Studios” booth. The simulator put you in the driving seat of a custom made XBOX setup with steering wheel and pedals. An experience completely different from the typical wireless controller that comes with the XBOX 360. Me and my cohort were not able to compete directly with each other at this booth however, Hyundai had a nice little setup of an XBOX station featuring Forza 3 with their own “Genesis” coupe. You of course had the option to change your vehicle and track to your liking.

Last but not the least, Ford created a test track with drivers from Bondurant Racing (located in AZ). There were Ford Fiesta’s galore for invited guests to drive and observe. We were fortunate enough to drive the manual model through the track; testing braking, body roll and acceleration. The Euro-only model comes with Ford’s new Sync, as well as a promising fuel economy to compete with the likes of Toyota and Honda hybrid models.

It was great to see what SEMA exhibitors go through to get their product to market quickly. The SEMA brand allows for creative competition and encouraged a wealth of knowledge amongst buyers and the media. It’s impossible to leave the show not wanting to attend again and again. WOW! I will not ever forget the amazing experience I had and hope to attend the 2010 SEMA show!

[Source: Jarred Williams]

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