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OEMs Will Participate in Record Numbers at Trade/Consumer Sport Compact Car Show in L.A.
DIAMOND BAR, Calif., April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- A record-breaking nine automakers will exhibit the latest trends in the sport compact car scene at SEMA's 2003 International Auto Salon (IAS). This marks the largest original equipment manufacturer (OEM) participation in IAS history. Dodge, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, Nissan, Scion and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) all will exhibit at the show, to be held Friday through Sunday, April 25-27, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Currently, Dodge, Ford, General Motors, Nissan and Scion have scheduled press conferences during the media day activities on Friday, April 25.

"It's significant that many of the world's top carmakers have chosen to exhibit at our sixth International Auto Salon," said Christopher J. Kersting, president and CEO of SEMA. "For 40 years, SEMA has been the organization that provides the venues for introducing the latest automotive innovations. As this youth market trend evolves into a truly significant automotive business, SEMA is again at the forefront and we're pleased to have the carmakers with us."

Ford's exhibit will be action-packed, as teams work all weekend to transform a stock 2003 Ford Focus ZX5 into a totally customized "tuner car." Groups of installers from such companies as Centerforce, Konig Wheels, Nitrous Express, and Xenon will demonstrate how easy it is to install their products on this domestic sport compact car.

General Motors returns as a major exhibitor at IAS. The company plans to demonstrate its commitment to the youth market by displaying a broad variety of performance enhancements, creative styling possibilities, and personalization opportunities. The General Motors booth will include numerous customized vehicles, as well as parts that enthusiasts can use to customize their own cars.

American Honda will show off modified versions of its latest production vehicles, including the all-new Acura TSX sports sedan and the Honda Element. These vehicles will combine upgrades from top aftermarket suppliers with a host of Acura and Honda accessories. American Honda also plans to display a turbocharged Honda Civic Si concept car and a Factory Performance Acura RSX Type-S.

Nissan continues its charge with products for the enthusiast driver. The automaker will premier several exciting new vehicles at IAS. Scheduled appearances include the 2004 Maxima and Sentra SE-R, NISMO-equipped Zs, a Stillen-prepared Altima and several other aftermarket creations. Look for the West Coast reveal of the 2004 Z Roadster -- billed as "how Nissan 'tops' perfection" -- as well as the first peek at some exciting new track-only Nissans.

Scion's exhibit will feature a hot Scion xB limo, a prototype Scion bbX and Blitz's fully customized xA, but that's not all. DJs also will be spinning some of today's hottest tunes, and graffiti artists will be giving one of the Scions a custom paint job live during the show.

"One of the most exciting aspects of the automotive industry today is the youth market divisions the carmakers are developing," said Carl Sheffer, SEMA vice president of OEM relations. "Their products are a great canvas for personalization by the Millennials. Our International Auto Salon represents a great opportunity for the automakers, accessory manufacturers, youth marketers and the young auto enthusiasts -- to come together at this annual event. It's the perfect venue to spot trends within our industry."

The International Auto Salon is the only show SEMA produces that is open to consumers, as well as industry personnel. The show will be open to industry professionals and media only on Friday, April 25, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to noon. Consumers will attend, along with industry professionals and media, from noon Saturday until 8 p.m., and on Sunday, April 27, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Registration and additional information about IAS is available at www.ias2k3.com.

Vision Entertainment returns as SEMA's consumer-marketing partner for the International Auto Salon for the second consecutive year. Vision will produce and judge an extensive car show within the Salon, making sure the "best of the best" vehicles are in the spotlight. The company, which produces the Hot Import Nights and Import Revolution events, also will be responsible for entertainment, including DJs spinning music and poster signings by Import Revolution models, during consumer show hours.

SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, represents the $27 billion specialty automotive industry. Founded in 1963, the trade association has more than 4,500 member companies. It is the authoritative source of research data, trends and market growth information for automakers and the specialty auto products industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger cars, minivans, trucks, SUVs and recreational vehicles. For more information, contact SEMA at 1575 S. Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar, CA, 91765-3914; call 909/396-0289; or visit www.sema.org or www.enjoythedrive.com.

Vision Entertainment, based in Irvine, Calif., is an integrated marketing and production company delivering creative event concept platforms targeting today's youth demographic. Producing more than 40 annual events in the top 20 DMA's in North America, ranging from import car, skateboard/snowboard expos to live music events, Vision creates brand message-delivery vehicles to reach a very illusive demographic. With a networked street team, viral outreach program and strategic advertising relationships within the print, online and radio mediums, Vision Entertainment is able to deliver "experiences" that encompass every aspect of youth culture.

For an electronic image of SEMA IAS, go to www.sema.org/iasoverhead2003.
 
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