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Goodies for Small Trucks on Display

November 07, 2001|JOHN O'DELL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

If it can be added to, fastened on or installed in a car or truck, chances are it can be found at the automotive aftermarket extravaganza known as the SEMA show, which ended its annual four-day run at the Las Vegas Convention Center last week.

The trade show--which draws exhibitors and buyers of automotive performance and appearance parts from around the globe--is a prime indicator of trends.

So look for an uptick in neon-lighted wheels; clear taillight lenses; patriotic graphics and paint jobs; and a lot more automotive electronics, including on-board televisions and in-dash DVD players. Alloy wheels will be getting brighter and bigger, and tires more specialized than ever, and it seems as if there is a supercharger available--or about to be--for every engine made.

The Diamond Bar-based Specialty Equipment Market Assn. started growing with the advent of the compact pickup craze in the early 1980s. Two decades later, the show's 1,600 or so exhibitors continue to emphasize goodies for pickups and sport-utility vehicles, as well as speed and performance equipment for traditional hot rods and drag-racing cars.

But the growth of the compact performance market also was reflected in the mix, with scores of booths featuring products for Hondas, Mitsubishis, Toyotas, the Chevy Cavalier, the Ford Focus and other cars that have caught the fancy of performance enthusiasts.

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