The Ford Motor Company will wrap up a celebration of its first 100 years at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show in November, where it will be the featured vehicle manufacturer. The annual show is planned for Tuesday-Friday, Nov. 4-7, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. “We are delighted that Ford, which has been a strong supporter of SEMA and the aftermarket industry, has chosen to culminate its yearlong celebration of a century of automotive leadership at SEMA Show 2003,” said SEMA president and CEO Christopher J. Kersting, C.A.E. Kersting added that Ford has been a major cornerstone of SEMA’s close relationship with the OEM community. “It was Ford with whom we began our technology transfer program between the car companies and our manufacturer members. Ford has been very enthusiastic about participating at our International Auto Salon, our annual OEM Tech Talks and measuring sessions, and also very generous in its provision of project vehicles for our SEMA members to modify, customize, and display at the SEMA shows and other venues. We’re happy that our showcase opportunity will provide global news coverage to Ford as it concludes its 100th anniversary celebration.” In the past several years, it has become the custom for OEMs to use the SEMA Show venue to launch new car and truck models and to gain the automotive industry’s reaction to concept vehicles. Kersting anticipates that Ford will continue to maintain that tradition with its unprecedented presence at this year’s SEMA Show. “ Ford Motor Company is pleased to be the featured marque of the 2003 SEMA Show,” said Jan Valentic, vice-president, Global Marketing, Ford Motor Company. “As the Vehicle Manufacturer of the Show, we recognize the importance of our participation during Ford’s centennial celebration that binds our global brand marketing efforts together with the aftermarket. For us, the SEMA Show is the ultimate expression of human creativity and invention — certainly a trait that has been passed down from our founder Henry Ford. As an international venue, the show enhances Ford’s opportunity to showcase the flexibility of our brands for personalization and accessorization.” In addition to Ford, other OEM exhibitors at SEMA Show 2003 will include The Chrysler Group, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Panoz, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota. The OEM presence at the SEMA Show has grown from three manufacturers to the current 13 over the past five years. SEMA Show 2003 will occupy the Las Vegas Convention Center. Currently, 1,269 companies have contracted for exhibit space totalling a record 824,000 square feet at the show that incorporates the International Tire Expo. The 2003 show will be organized into 12 sections, with the carmakers’ exhibits distributed throughout the 2 million square feet of exhibits and hundreds of specially constructed project cars and trucks. SEMA Show 2002 featured more than 1,500 project vehicles, had approximately 900 entries into its new product competition, and attracted 86,787 AAIW attendees from more than 100 countries. The SEMA Show is held concurrently with the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX). The two trade shows comprise the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW), one of the two largest business gatherings held in Las Vegas.