This week, the Specialty Equipment Manufacturing Association Show, better know as SEMA, is taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Closed to the general public, SEMA provides a unique opportunity for manufacturers of aftermarket vehicle parts to pay copious amounts of money for the privilege of showing their newest products to their competitors.
A typical SEMA attendee is Tim Fartzrite, owner of Fartzrite Kustomz in Unfortunate Fallz, Wiskonsin, who told Autoblopnik.com, “This was by far the best SEMA show I’ve ever attended! I got five free hats, a couple of free T-shirts, four free magazines, at least two dozen free pens, and a bunch of free stickers, plus I ate at least fifteen pounds of free candy. It was well worth the $2,800 I paid for plane tickets, hotel, and show admission.”
Along with product displays and crowds of people who specialize in walking slowly and stopping without warning or reason, attendees enjoyed the educational opportunities provided by SEMA’s many seminars. This year’s topics included “Small Business Survival in the New Regulatory Environment,” “The EPA and You: You’re Fucked,” “Ten Signs Your Escort Has Venereal Disease,” and “Telling Your Spouse You Lost The Kids’ College Fund at the Blackjack Table: Best Practices”.
This year’s SEMA show featured a special display area for new exhibitors. Companies occupying the
tent special pavilion included:
- Fengbung Wu Xiang Tire Concern Ltd., which makes shoddily-engineered tires for poorly-maintained trucks and buses.
- Shen Win Fun Bang Ltd. Co, which produces low-cost suspension parts without the high overhead associated with environmentally-friendly manufacturing methods, child labor laws, and proper metallurgy.
- Wing Sheng Ghenxiou Raptor Star Industry Electricated LLC, which imports and sells LED lighting accessories and young Chinese women.
- Flowz-Rite, an Illinois-based manufacturer of tubular exhaust headers that has learned a valuable lesson about booking a cheap booth at SEMA.
“Yes, SEMA is a very important show for me,” said Dick Smasher, owner of Dick Smasher’z Tuner Partz, responding to Autoblopnik.com‘s question about whether SEMA was a very important show for him. “Buying an overpriced booth so I can give out thousands of expensive brochures to people who will look at then once and then throw them away is vital to the success of my business. Besides, the novelty of writing off hookers, vodka and baccarat as business expenses never gets old.”
Mazda celebrated the 25th anniversary of the MX-5 with a display of historic Miatas, including two of the original cars revealed at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show. The exhibit was closed after one day when Mazda realized it reminded people how much smaller, lighter and better the Miata used to be.
Chevrolet revealed the 2015 Trax, a small SUV described as “a Buick Encore for people under the age of 80″.
One of the few concept vehicles revealed at the show, the Land Rover Discovery Vision features a “Smart Glass” system which projects graphics into the windshield. The system can be used off-road to show the terrain immediately ahead, and on-road to show a world where the Discovery isn’t fucking up the environment and sucking down our dwindling oil reserves.
Nissan introduced an all-new Murano, explaining that the front-end styling was inspired by the Sport Sedan Concept revealed earlier this year in Detroit, while the rear-end styling was inspired by one of the designers having a seizure while working on the clay model.
Chrysler revealed the restyled 2015 Dodge Charger, which trades the old car’s aggressive styling for a kinder, gentler front end modeled after the Dart. Chrysler did not reveal how much weight they saved by cutting off the Charger’s testicles.
Ford announced a 50th Anniversary Edition of the new 2015 Ford Mustang which will reach dealerships just in time for the Mustang’s 51st anniversary.
Volkswagen unveiled the facelifted 2015 Jetta. VW officials say they were able to cut 18 months from the development schedule and reduce costs by nearly half by making the new car identical the old one.
Bentley announced that it will return to the American motorsports scene in conjunction with Dyson Racing, a Poughkeepsie, NY-based racing team unrelated to the UK vacuum cleaner manufacturer. Autoblopnik regrets this, as we were really looking forward to writing a joke about a pairing between British things that suck.
Jeep announced that this happened, sort of.
Mitsubishi staged a press event that included a pyrotechnics display, a performance by the Swedish Nude Ballet, the announcement of a new Pope, and a ritual human sacrifice. It received no press coverage whatsoever.
Volvo revealed a picture of the dashboard of a car that won’t go on sale for another two years, and it still received more coverage than Mitsubishi’s press event.
Hyundai unveiled the 2015 Sonata mid-size sedan with more sedate styling and engines with reduced horsepower and torque. New CEO Dave Zucchini said Hyundai is attempting to emulate the success model of Toyota by making product decisions that make absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Fiat showed the Alfa-Romeo 4C, a lightweight mid-engine sports car, and announced firm plans to bring it to the US market. Since the announcement, sperm banks across the New York metropolitan area have been reporting an alarming decrease in donations.
Finally, Honda announced that their upcoming subcompact crossover utility vehicle will be called the HR-V. Other Hondas that make sexually suggestive comments or otherwise act inappropriately will be sent to it for disciplinary action.
General Motors today announced that Chevrolet will announce a new diesel-powered Malibu wagon at next week’s New York Autonouncement Show.
“This is an effort to improve critical opinion of the Chevrolet Malibu among automotive influencers,” announced Chevrolet spokesannouncer Randy Dog. “The 2013 Malibu was poorly received by the press, and the updates we made for 2014 haven’t helped. So we’re going for broke. We’ve yet to meet an auto writer or blog commenter who doesn’t love a diesel wagon.”
The Malibu TDZ Diesel Sport Diesel Wagon will be powered by a 2.2 liter turbodiesel developing 150 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque.
“The Malibu Sportdiesel Wagon’s diesel engine was conceived and designed in Europe,” announced Dog. “It’s built in our GM European Diesel Plant in Europe, then shipped to Orion Township where the diesel-powered Malibu Dieselsport will be assembled. We then send the engine back to Europe to be inspected by a European guy who lives in Europe, then it returns to Michigan once more to be installed in the car. Anyone who says this isn’t a true European diesel can kiss my European ass.”
Asked of the addition of a diesel-powered wagon to the Malibu lineup was a move to pander to the press rather than provide a vehicle actually demanded by buyers, Dog announced, “You’re damn right we’re pandering to the press. It works for BMW and now we’re going to make it work for General Motors. Seriously, a 4-series with four doors and a hatchback? Who else but an underpaid and overpampered car-magazine hack would want one of those?”
The diesel-powered Malibu Sportdiesel Wagonsport wagon will come exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, rear-wheel-drive, and hydraulic power steering. Fuel economy estimates have not been calculated, but Dog announced that they will be at least twenty percent lower than the car is actually capable of achieving, so that auto writers can point to their better-than-EPA figures as proof of how stupid the American public is for not embracing diesels.
Dog announced that the diesel wagon is expected to account for roughly 0.004% of 2015 Malibu sales, or about eight cars in total, six of which will be provided as long-term loaners to various car magazines.
“We’re very excited,” announced an excited Dog. “This will be the first time the Malibu has been available as a wagon with a diesel engine.” When Autoblopnik pointed out that the Malibu wagon was offered with an Oldsmobile diesel in 1982 and 1983, Dog announced, “Yes, but we like to pretend that never happened,” and then added, “Nerd.”
This year’s New York Fucking Auto Show will feature several stands and displays designed to celebrate the country’s least car-friendly city.
At General Motors’ Big Apple-themed show stand, visitors will walk over broken concrete through a long urine-scented corridor lined with homeless people begging for change, then cross a simulated Manhattan street where they must dodge real-live taxicabs that are actually trying to run them over. Those who survive can enter the main display hall, where they will discover that all of the show vehicles have been either stolen or towed away.
Lexus will unveil the Lexus Lexington Lounge, which is designed to resemble a trendy Midtown boutique hotel room. The Lounge measures 4 feet by 5 feet, is lit by a single 15-watt bulb, and costs $280 to enter. Visitors who do not tip the doorman will have their passports, credit cards, and iPods stolen by the cleaning staff.
Fiat has prepared an interactive audio-visual display that highlights the contributions of Italian immigrants to New York City’s history and culture. Show attendees who skip the Fiat stand will have their fucking kneecaps broken with a fucking baseball bat.
Nissan will be giving rides in their new NV200 Taxi of Tomorrow. Show-goers will be offered a free trip around the block, but will instead be taken to a seedy neighborhood in the Bronx and told that they can either hand over the contents of their wallet or get out and walk back to the Javits Center.
The New York Auto Show opens to the public on Friday, April 18th, 2014. New York City residents receive $5 off show admission with proof of residency, either by presenting a valid Government-issued ID or by pissing on a show attendant’s feet and telling him to fuck off.
Officials from the North American Interfaith Auto Show said they are considering stricter standards for media credentials after repeated clashes between journalists and
industrial spies engineers at this year’s Detroit press preview.
“We have journalists who are trying to report on the vehicles,” explained NAIAS spokesmeasurer Dick Blocker, “and we have engineers taking measurements, detailed photographs and extensive notes, and the two are constantly getting each other’s way. It’s time to make a tough decision, and our decision is that the journalists have go to go.”
Gong Yee Jian-die, an employee of the Pacific Center for Automotive Studies in China, told Autoblopnik through a translator that journalists are becoming an ever-increasing problem.
“It’s upsetting,” he said, “because these ‘journalists’ get press releases ahead of time and are not prevented by their government from downloading pictures on the Internet. Me, I have just one opportunity to get all the measurements on these cars. If they don’t complete their assignment, they have other people to cover for them. If I don’t complete my assignment, my family will be sent to a re-education camp.”
Asked why he couldn’t just attend the industry preview that follows the media preview, Jian-die said, “And pay $95 instead of just pretending to be journalists so we can get into the show for free? As if!”
Blocker defended the auto show’s defense of engineers over journalists.
“We have to ask ourselves who is of more value to the auto show: A journalist reporting details to the general public, only a small percentage of whom will buy the car, or an engineer feeding vital information to car companies and suppliers, 100% of whom will build cars. The car companies are our clients, and that’s the bottom line.”
Zai Gai Fangshi, chief engineer for China’s Geely Automotive Perfunctory Happening, defended the work that engineers do at auto shows.
“These subversive journalists say, ‘Oh, he’s just some leech with a camera and a clipboard who is in my way,'” Fangshi told Autoblopnik. “But when the next XC90 has an interior like a Mercedes and drives like an Audi, you can thank that leech with the camera and the clipboard.”
Journalist Keifer Buglorwarowicz of
Motor Trend Automotive.com Goat Farmer Weekly KBB.com viewed the potential changes with equanimity.
“Frankly, we can save a lot of time and expense by staying home,” Buglerawitz told Autoblopnik. “All I have to do is live-stream the press conferences with the volume turned up to ear-splitting levels and ask a couple of interns to stand between me and the computer whenever I try to download a photo. It’s just like being at the show.”
Fortunately, Autoblopnik had a second reporter covering the press preview at this year’s North American Interdenominational Auto Show. We hesitantly present his report on the show’s highlights.
AUDI ALLROAD SHOOTING BRAKE CONCEPTAudi says this small wagon is the upcoming replacement for the TT, an announcement that the assembled journalists reacted to as if it made perfect sense. Audi has not revealed how much it paid Volvo for the C30 tooling.
We were unable to get close enough to this car to get photos or information, but from a distance it looks a lot like a throng of Chinese men with tape measures, cameras, and notepads.
CADILLAC ATS COUPEThe ATS Coupe premiered to rousing cheers and a standing ovation, until the assembled journalists realized they were looking at the Elmiraj concept. They were directed to turn their cameras towards “the anonymous-looking blue car over there.” Cadillac described the ATS Coupe’s styling as “clean and conservative,” which is design-speak for “We wanted to hurry up and get it done so we could get home in time to see the season premiere of Downton Abbey.”
CHEVROLET CORVETTE Z06Autoblopnik had arranged for an exclusive demonstration of the new Z06’s supercharged engine, but the thigh-deep puddle of drool from other journalists shorted out the car’s electrical system and it wouldn’t start. GM spokesvetter Teddy Radical said that the Z06’s on-sale date is being timed to coincide with the peak of the media frenzy surrounding the car, which means it should arrive in showrooms in the third quarter of 2027.
CHRYSLER 200The all-new 200 is based on the same Alfa-Romeo platform as the Dodge Dart, with styling that evokes Chrysler’s golden years of the 1990s. Asked about the primary differences between the new 200 and the outgoing car, a Chrysler spokesguy said, “Well, for starters, this one won’t be a complete and utter piece of shit.”
GMC CANYONBILL: Copy and paste whatever I wrote about the Chevrolet Colorado at the LA show, just swap “GMC” for “Chevrolet” and “Canyon” for “Colorado”. The knuckle-dragging cretins who read our site will never know the difference. Just be sure to remove this note before you publish the story! – Otto
HYUNDAI GENESISWe’d thought we’d already seen this car at the Los Angeles auto show, until Hyundai spokeshower Miles Horseford told us that was actually the Equus. He gave us a quick tip on how to tell them apart: “The Genesis has a narrower, more tapered grille,” he said, “and the Equus has a ridiculous name and non-existent sales.” The Krafcik impersonator who presented the car said the new
INFINITI Q50 EAU DE TOILETTEInfiniti introduced a new shade of red paint, which comes standard with the modified Q50 seen beneath it. Infiniti boss Johann Q. DeNysschnnen would not say exactly what engine was under the hood, only that “it might be a 500-plus horsepower, 600-plus pound-foot, V-type forced-induction engine, and while that may sound an awful lot like the engine from the Nissan GT-R, I’m not saying it is.” He then touched his finger to his nose and gave the audience an exaggerated wink. An Infiniti spokesperson told Autoblopnik that the car will actually be powered by the 2.5 liter V6 from the G25.
KIA GT-4 STINGERFive years after the introduction of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Kia hinted that they just might have a rear-drive sports car with a two-liter turbocharged engine in the works. Journalists in the audience did an impressive job of feigning surprise.
MERCEDES S600The new V12-powered Mercedes S-Class comes standard with a leather interior, four-zone climate control, and a banana republic in Central Africa. Unfortunately, our attempts to approach the S600 for a closer look were foiled by a burly man in an expensive suit with a thick Russian accent, who told us, “S600? No S600 here. I think I saw it over by Toyota stand. Move along, comrade.”
NISSAN SPORT SEDAN CONCEPTThough Nissan didn’t come right out and say it, the Sport Sedan Concept is considered by most to be a preview of styling cues for the next-generation Maxima. All those who were worried that Nissan might break with tradition and start designing attractive cars can breath a sigh of relief. Nissan has reportedly considered removing the car during public days because the gaping-mouth grille frightens the children.
PORSCHE 911 TARGAPorsche spokesperson Kimberly Calvin described the 911 Targa as “a 911 Cabriolet with a big metal bar where the sun ought to be.” Despite having castigated convertibles like the Chrysler PT Cruiser, Oldsmobile Cutlass, and Suzuki X90 for a similar design, the media gave the 911 Targa a warm reception, which leads us to believe the press drive must be taking place someplace very nice. Porsche used the 911 Targa press conference to announce their new tagline, “Porsche: Because You’ll Buy Anything That Says Porsche On It.”
SUBARU WRX STIAfter spending three months explaining to the media why the new WRX does not have gold wheels or a big wing on the trunk lid, Subaru introduced an all-new WRX STI with gold wheels and a big wing on the trunk lid.
TOYOTA FT-1 CONCEPTThis stunning sports car concept had show attendees speculating that Toyota is planning a new Supra in the not-too-distant future. “Naturally, we cannot comment on future products, or lack thereof,” Toyota spokesman Wide Hate told Autoblopnik, “but if people want to dream, let them dream. Remember, these are the same people who assumed that the big wheels on the Furia concept meant the next Corolla would be good to drive. Why spoil their illusions?”
VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE DUNE CONCEPTIn an effort to boost the Beetle’s new macho image, Volkswagen showed this concept, which it called “a Baja Bug for the 21st Century.” Voted Best In Show by the Michigan Gay Men’s Choir.
We sent our man Clifton Faghands to report on the 2014 North American International Auto Show.
I’m just back from the Detroit show, where attendance was up but the mood was subdued at best.
MERCEDES: Once again, the Germans put on a fantastic event with exquisite hors d’oeurves and strong coffee. And they kept the riff-raff out — all of the tables were occupied by journalists who had been in the business for at least twenty years.
HYUNDAI: As always, the afterparty at Slow’s BBQ was the highlight of the show for me. A full belly is just what I need to report on whatever car it was they showed… Genesomething? That said, the service was a little slow. They need to bring back that thin grey-haired guy who used to tend the bar.
GENERAL MOTORS: Rather sad, really. A lot of people were talking about the car they revealed (Canyon Z06 coupe), but I was dismayed at the press kit. I got three hundred bucks on eBay for last year’s Stingray take-home, but this thing won’t fetch ten bucks! How did such a great company fall so far, so fast?
PORSCHE: A class act. Never has a lunche left me so full or so satisfied. I’m confident that the 911 Target is going to be a strong seller.
Clifton’s report went on for another six pages, but you get the idea.