Volume 8, Issue 6,  November/December  2004

Blue Chips

SEMA 2004 Rolls Into Las Vegas
by Brigid O’Leary

Las Vegas is an oasis of sorts; a city that appears on the landscape almost as a mirage for weary travelers. Its location is hot and both bustling and desolate all at once. Both famous and infamous for its glitz, glamour and neon lights, it attracts at least a quarter-billion visitors a year (statistics vary), roughly 5 million of whom go for business, attending conferences and trade shows.

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show is expected to bring more than 100,000 of those conference-attending visitors to the city this year when it takes its place at the Las Vegas Convention Center November 2-5, 2004. Part of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week, SEMA will run concurrently with the National Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE), being held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, and a free shuttle will run between the two events.

Who’s Who 
The theme for the show this year is “Where Everything New Makes Its Debut” and several window-film related businesses are debuting new products. All the major players, including the International Window Film Association, will have booths at SEMA, as will many up-and-coming companies.

HanitaTek Window Films, the North American arm of Israeli company Hanita Coatings, is making its way onto the radar. The product of a joint venture between Hanita Coatings and Tekra Corp. (a North American graphic arts company), HanitaTek will be making its debut to the industry at SEMA from Booth 11344 by featuring its customer support and logistics for Hanita Coatings and the expanded automotive tint film line, Omega Plus. Described by the company as a range of hybrid metallized and dyed films, Omega Plus is available in visible light transmissions of 5-, 15-, 20- and 35 percent and the newest addition, 45 percent. Like many other window film companies, HanitaTek doesn’t limit itself to automotive film. Though the show focuses on vehicles, the company will also bring its Optitune and Cold Steel films (dual-reflective and neutral color films, respectively), just two of the films specially made for flat-glass. For more information on HanitaTek and its products, visit www.hanitatek.com.

Johnson Window Films will be showcasing its portfolio of automotive films—RayGuard (non-reflective films), high-performance Silhouette and the non-fading Executive Series. Additionally, the company’s top team of solar control specialists will conduct an on-site film application demonstration on one of the toughest cars in the world to tint, a VW Bug. They will also have their manufacturing and quality control managers in attendance to answer any questions regarding the window film manufacturing process. Visitors interested in Johnson products or demonstrations will find them in Booth 12158, where they will also be offering food, fun and special Vegas style “games.” For more information about the Silhouette or Executive Series, visit www.johnsonwindowfilms.com.

Over in Booth 12066, Film Technologies International plans to use its time and space promoting its Sun-Gard Automotive line of window film, which includes Century, Decorator, Exterior, Privacy and Color Graphic Series. The St. Petersburg, Fla.-based business states in company literature that it designs its film to stand up to the weather conditions in the Sunshine State. For more information on the Sun-Gard line, visit www.filmtechnologies.com.

Cars—souped-up, tricked-out and in various stages of transformation—will be all over the show, including a tinted 350Z that will reside at Booth 12366, the Interwest Distribution Co. booth. The car, of course, is merely an example of what can be done with 3M film (Interwest is a 3M distributor) and the company will have marketing material on hand for both 3M Color Stable window film as well as 3M FX window film. 3M will also offer training course information for the company’s Denver location. 

CPFilms is launching a new “no purple” campaign from its booth at the show. The company’s Llumastar color-stable technology featuring both dyed and combination metal automotive films will be the focal point of Booth 11916. Exclusive to CPFilms and the Llumar line, films with the Llumastar technology come with lifetime warranties that include a no-color-change feature and are said to be suited for electronics-laden vehicles. According to the company, varying light transmissions allow for color matching capabilities previously unavailable. In addition to its Llumastar technology, CPFilms will be promoting the “whole car” concept by demonstrating its Llumar paint protection films; the company will hold installation demonstrations of both its film and paint protection products throughout the week. An additional feature planned for the Llumar booth is CPFilms’ Precision Cutting System for window tinters who may be interested in branching into custom cutting software. The company will also host a drawing for a 42-inch plasma screen television.

Commonwealth Laminating and Coating/SunTek, a hometown neighbor to CPFilms, has Booth 12266 this year and will be debuting not only a full range of new products for both domestic and international markets, but a brand new booth as well, but attendees need to come by to see the fare Commonwealth is offering (or read the next issue of Window Film, which will recap the SEMA show).

Singapore-based Haeuei Enterprises will be exhibiting at SEMA for the first time. Booth 12455 will be the starting point for the company, which plans to use the experience to help re-position itself as a major warehousing hub for window films in the Asia-Pacific region and reinforce its existence in the current market. The official distributor of window films produced by Sumitomo Osaka Cement from Japan, Haeuei will be featuring Ray-Barrier and Ray-Shield films in the SEMA Show New Products Showcase Awards. According to the company, these films, from research laboratories in Japan, are breakthrough automotive products that achieve transparency without compromising infra-red heat reduction and are engineered to meet the stringent tinting regulations set by various countries and states. Though new on the North American scene, Haeuei has been making a pre-launch in Asian territories with such strict tinting regulations to assess the response and secure contracts from OEM car manufacturers. For more information on Haeuei, its products or services, visit www.haeuei.com.

Bekaert, an established manufacturer and regular at the SEMA show, returns this year with its selection of film products and business-enhancing programs in tow. Located in Booth 12338, the company plans to unveil its new trade show booth and dealer-enhanced exhibition vehicle, which will feature Solar Gard film and ComputerCut graphics. For those interested in seeing not only the end result but the steps involved in using the company’s ComputerCut program, representatives will be conducting demonstrations throughout the show, accentuating the system’s compatibility with Clearshield paint protection film. Window film, paint protection and intricate graphic patterns will be downloaded, computer cut and installed on the show floor. Dealers and distributors will also have the opportunity to review regional markets, product trends and program requirements as well as view marketing support, updated training schedules and pick up new sales and installation strategies at the booth.

Film manufacturers won’t be the only companies at the show that members of the industry will want to visit. Performance Tools Distributing will have its full selection of tools on display in Booth 12459. Said to have the largest tool selection in the industry (more than 400 individual products), the company continues to grow its stock with several new tools being introduced this year. For more information about Performance Tools Distributing or to view its online catalog, visit www.44tools.com. 

Odds On Favorite
There will be plenty to see and do at the SEMA show, but should you decide to venture beyond the walls of the Las Vegas Convention Center, there are other aspects of Las Vegas that may be of interest. In the evenings, Vegas has much to offer. Nightly shows abound; Mama Mia, the musical based on ABBA songs is playing at the Mandalay Bay, and magic shows, singers and stand-up comediennes at other venues all offer evening entertainment and a taste of what makes Vegas unique.

If you’re going to be one of the 5 million projected business visitors to the oasis this year, you may not want to miss out on the special-ness that draws the rest of the visitors back year after year to both the town and the SEMA show.     WF

Brigid O’Leary is the editor of Window Film magazine.


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