SEMA Data Shows Spending on Auto Tech Is Skyrocketing


Sticker prices. Meager inventory. Fuel costs. Whatever the reason, more and more Americans are driving increasingly older vehicles. The age of the average car on the road grew to just over 12 years old in 2022, according to data from the Specialty Equipment Aftermarket Association (SEMA). However, owning an older car doesn’t mean having to sacrifice the improved safety, convenience, and drivability options present on today’s vehicles.

The data from SEMA is clear: We’re spending more on aftermarket automotive tech and electronics than ever. Americans are doing whatever it takes to keep our cars on the road, and that means upgrading tech and electronics to keep up in today’s world. From hands-free modules to stay connected to Bluetooth adapters to stream entertainment to dashcams and backup cameras, it’s easier—and more affordable—than ever to bring older cars up-to-date.

So what are we buying? According to SEMA Market Research, the top five mobile electronics and the percent increase among manufacturers over the past 12 months are:

  • Sound-system and audio accessories: up 22 percent
  • Mobile TV and video cameras: up 18 percent
  • Navigation systems: up 18 percent
  • Alarms and security products: up 17 percent
  • Wireless and smartphone integration products: up 11 percent

    Well, folks still love their sound systems—that much is clear. Aside from that obvious nugget of info, the numbers show that given the rapid pace of technological advancement, cars manufactured just five or 10 years ago don’t have enough of the gadgets and gizmos modern Americans want.

    Here are some of the hottest-selling mobile tech and automotive electronics on the market today.

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    Top Seller for Hands-Free Connectivity

    • Can hear your voice commands over music, A/C, and road noise
    • Compatible with most cars and trucks
    • Multiple cords can make setup difficult and aesthetics unsightly

    Echo Auto connects to the Alexa app on your phone and plays through your car speakers via auxiliary input or your phone’s Bluetooth connection. Now any older car can stream music, podcasts, traffic information, and even audiobooks. It’s fantastic for vintage automobiles and off-roading.


    Top Stereo-System Upgrade

    • Includes rearview backup camera
    • Front, rear, and subwoofer preamp for speakers
    • Might require professional installation

    BOSS Audio Systems‘ double-din head unit can turn an older stereo system into an Apple CarPlay– or Android Auto–connected touchscreen gem. Access all your phone apps, including music, maps, and messaging, with just a tap or even voice control if applicable. It includes USB ports for charging, and an available adapter allows it to be controlled from the steering wheel.

    • Google Maps, speed, and G-sensor readings
    • Magnetic Click&Go Pro mount
    • Does not include Micro SD card (required for recording)

    The NextBase 522GW front and rear dashcam kit features 1440-pixel Quad HD technology with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. It also rocks built-in Alexa connectivity, night-vision capability, parking mode, and 280-/360-degree six-lane-wide recording. There are a ton of dashcams on the market, and you could spend far less on one. But NextBase is one of the more

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    SEMA Ignited after-party returns as 2021 automotive trade show wraps up

    LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It was the fourth and final day of SEMA 2021, and there was so much happening at the world’s premier automotive trade show.

    The previous day, outdoor activations put attendees and our own 8 News Now Reporter Bianca Holman in a high-powered Ford Mustang or new Ford Broncos for the Hoonigan’s Burnyard experience.

    Show attendees were able to cheer on experienced drivers as they drifted and did burnouts and donuts with their special guest in the passenger seat.

    While it was an industry-only trade show, the general public was invited to enjoy SEMA Ignited on Friday, Nov. 5 after 3 p.m. in the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) West Hall parking lot.

    The annual after-party allowed the public to get a glimpse of the latest vehicles, automotive products, and experiences the industry professionals have enjoyed the past few days at the LVCC.

    General admission for SEMA Ignited is $20. Children 12 and under are free. For more information visit their website.

    Before the party though, the top 12 builders from SEMA’s Battle of the Builders competition examined each other’s vehicles and voted on the ultimate winner. That’s right, they know the work that goes into each build, so they judge each other.


    • Mike Fillion — 1956 Oldsmobile 98
    • Mark Giambalvo — 1930 Ford Model A 2-Door Sedan
    • Robert Matranga –1955 Chevrolet Bel Air

    • Samantha Frazier — 1973 Nissan Datsun 240Z
    • Eddie Pettus — 1961 Austin Healey Sprite
    • Simo Veharanta — 1982 Porsche 911 RSR

    • Jeremy Miranda — 1959 Chevrolet Apache
    • Kamaka Pocock — 1967 Chevrolet C10
    • Bryan Thompson — 1934 Ford Pickup

    • Dayton Jacobson — 2000 Chevrolet S10
    • Chelsie Lesnoski — 1993 Mazda RX-7 FD
    • Cole Marten — 1991 Nissan Skyline R32 GTR

    The overall top builder was announced at Silver Drive, during SEMA Ignited, as Robert Matranga. He is

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    Ford’s SEMA Entries Include Modified Bronco, Mach-E, Maverick


    With the cancellation of the 2020 SEMA show, Ford and its collaborators had some extra time to come up with a slew of modified vehicles to show off at the 2021 event How many vehicles make up a slew, exactly? In this case, it means the more than 40 unique Ford project vehicles that will be on display in Las Vegas next week.

    It’s no surprise that the SEMA fleet is made up of some of the brand’s more popular models, including at least three Mavericks, two Rangers, four F-150s and three Mustang Mach-E SUVs. Larger F-series trucks, gas-powered Mustangs and the Bronco and Bronco Sport SUVs will also be represented, all with the intention of inspiring customers to personalize their own Fords.

    Everything from the 2021 SEMA Show

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    Skyjacker Ford Ranger

    Ford, of course, is hyping its Ford Performance Parts and Ford Licensed Accessories, and that’s why you’ll see those products all over the vehicles on display, including on the Skyjacker Ranger pictured here. This truck tries to take the Ranger’s off-roading skills to the next level with a Skyjacker Suspension six-inch lift, a Warn winch, and rock slider side steps and lighting enhancements with Rigid Industries lighting on the A-pillar and a rooftop off-road light bar. The powertrain has also been recalibrated, and the cat-back exhaust system has black chrome tips.


    D.R.A.G.G. Maverick

    The lifeguard-ready D.R.A.G.G. Maverick is a personal favorite, not for any particular feature, but because it came about through a collaboration between Oxnard Union High School and the police department of Oxnard, California. The two disparate groups came up with a beach rescue concept truck that houses toolbox swing cases in a Ford Licensed Accessories topper. It also has a watersports carrier, fender flares, front seat covers made from Neosupreme, a sunshade, and off-road cube lights.


    Tucci Maverick

    The Tucci version of the Ford Maverick takes the small pickup in a different direction, while keeping the drag racing spirit. Looking the part of a hot-rodded pickup from an earlier era, the XLT series Maverick was transformed by Tucci Hot Rods to be wider with 3D-printed fender flares and a 3D-printed front lip and retro-looking custom wheels. Four Recaro Sportster seats and racing harnesses make sure no one inside the truck forgets the kind of vehicle they’re sitting in.


    Shelby Mustang Mach-E GT Concept

    On the electrified side of things, one of the modified Mustang Mach-E GTs on display will look familiar to anyone who knows Ford’s racing history. The name, of course, gives some of the details away, but this blue-and-white-striped performance vehicle replaces some of the original body pieces with graphene-infused carbon-fiber components made by Shelby American. The changes include the front fascia, front fenders and rear flares, and a different hood that has a large vent in order to lower front-end lift. Springs, tires and seats have all also been upgraded. This year will be the first time Ford has brought both a

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