November 1 - 4, 2005
Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas - GM's small-vehicle lineup will make a big impact at this year's Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show, proving that with the right combination of technology, great products and accessories, it's possible to pack performance, style and fuel economy into one exciting package.
Among the 25 smaller vehicles taking center stage at SEMA are customized versions of Chevrolet's new hit HHR and Cobalt; the new Pontiac Solstice and G6; the Saturn Ion and upcoming Sky; and the new, smaller HUMMER H3. These fuel-efficient vehicles are the perfect canvas for customizers who'd rather spend their money on a killer audio system than at the pump. And they also can be very well-equipped for the customer who wants to make a statement without the work.
In September, HHR sales were up 55 percent over August, and HHRs are disappearing from dealers’ lots almost as quickly as they arrive. Cobalt sales are at a brisk pace as well, with more than 40 percent of calendar-year-to-date sales to non-GM owners. The new H3 is driving record HUMMER sales, and also attracting new GM customers, with about 70 percent of H3 buyers new to GM.
For those who insist on a custom ride, GM will show off a growing portfolio of crate engines and accessories designed and engineered by GM. Other GM Accessories offerings, including a new performance exhaust system portfolio, electrical accessories collection and supercharger kits, will be featured as well.
"GM's launch products are already making a name for themselves in the aftermarket community," said Mark LaNeve, GM vice president, North American Sales Service and Marketing. "We're seeing Chevy Cobalts and HHRs, Pontiac G6s and HUMMER H3s being customized straight off the showroom floor now that GM Accessories has been integrated into the vehicle design process.
"It is a great sign that people who love cars think we have great vehicles to personalize, and that our fuel-efficient small cars and trucks are finding a new appeal in the aftermarket."
According to U.S. News’ new “muscle-per-gallon” index, based on data from Kelley Blue Book, GM is a leader in helping fuel economy and horsepower live peacefully under the same hood. The Saturn Ion Red Line tops the index of vehicles under $20,000, with the Cobalt SS Coupe and Sedan rounding out the top five and the Pontiac G6 No. 10. In the overall survey, three Corvettes are in the Top 10, with the new Z06 rated No. 2.
While smaller cars dominate the show floor, those seeking traditional high-horsepower rides won't be disappointed: GM will feature noted car buff/collector and “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno's '32 Bowtie Deuce Roadster featuring GM's venerable small-block V-8 (LS7), as well as a 620-horsepower '70 Chevelle thoroughly modernized during the summer by a group of Michigan college students. The newest members of Cadillac's V-Series performance lineup, the STS-V and the XLR-V, also will be on hand.
Al Oppenheiser, director of Concept and Vehicle Integration for GM Performance Division, said shows like SEMA help showcase the ingenuity of GM engineers and designers, and let customers know what they can create in their own garages.
"We're providing our aftermarket partners, our internal Performance Parts operations and automotive enthusiasts with the best vehicle canvas on which to create parts, pieces and components that look cool and go fast," he said. “But we're not just building show cars. We're building vehicles with race-proven technology and production components that people can actually buy today."