For those who love the thrill of off-roading and cherish the freedom of backcountry RVing and off-grid living, the SEMA Show 2023 is your gateway to the latest and greatest overlanding gear and vehicles. This year, the SEMA Show Overland Experience is gearing up to be one of the most exciting shows yet for adventure seekers, taking things up another level a bigger and better off-road experience.
This strategic relocation is a game-changer for overland enthusiasts and professionals. SEMA Vice President of Events Tom Gattuso highlights that this shift will not only showcase the latest products and innovations in their natural habitat but also facilitate better accessibility and a more authentic experience for all attendees. The Overland Experience’s new home in the Diamond Lot offers the perfect rugged canvas for exhibitors to demonstrate their gear, vehicles, and gadgets designed for the wild.
A New Overlanding Market Takes Center Stage at SEMA 2023
At the SEMA Show 2023, the spotlight is on the burgeoning trend of overlanding with adventure vans emerging as the new favorites among backcountry enthusiasts. These vans, often based on 1-ton chassis like the Ford Transit, RAM ProMaster, and the Mercedes Sprinter, offer a more affordable and maneuverable alternative to traditional RVs, attracting a diverse demographic of outdoor aficionados. With the RV industry seeing record sales, the adventure van segment stands as a burgeoning $16.8 billion market with forecasts projecting significant growth.
The market expansion is fueled by consumers’ increased desire for remote travel and the capability to venture beyond conventional campsites. As this sector evolves, aftermarket outfitters are finding lucrative opportunities in catering to the customization needs of these vehicles, prioritizing distinctive features and backcountry performance. The pandemic accelerated the industry’s growth, yet despite current economic challenges, the demand for adventure vans with superior off-grid capabilities remains robust. SEMA Show attendees can explore this thriving niche, which not only reflects a shift in consumer preferences but also signals a new era of growth potential for businesses within the adventure and specialty-equipment market.
Sport UTVs Lead the Charge as Newcomers Rev Up the Aftermarket Scene
As the SEMA Show unfolds, attendees are witnessing a some cautious optimism in the powersports sector, despite a global market still finding its footing post-pandemic. Industry leaders are noting a steady, if not explosive, growth trajectory, with a particular emphasis on the enduring popularity of sport UTVs. Newcomers are introducing products tailored to this market, joining OE manufacturers like Polaris in broadening their ranges to cater to the versatile needs of consumers, from agriculture to extreme sports enthusiasts.
The SEMA Show also highlights key trends and consumer preferences that continue to shape the powersports market. Overlanding has surged as a leading interest, capitalizing on the pandemic-driven shift toward outdoor activities, while the accessories market remains robust, with high demand for customization from tires to storage solutions. Marketing strategies are evolving too, with racing events proving effective in engaging consumers and showcasing product durability and innovation. As the market continues to adapt to changing economic conditions and consumer behaviors, the resilience of the powersports culture is clear, promising ongoing opportunities for industry players and enthusiasts alike.
“I would say the market is in recovery,” said Jason D’Armond, director of sales and marketing for PRP Seats. “COVID was a big boom for the off-road industry, and last year we saw the pendulum swinging back a bit. We expect it to contract a bit more this year but stabilize.”
The SEMA Show isn’t just about the spectacle; it’s a vital hub for business within the automotive specialty-equipment industry. From October 31 to November 3, it’s where new products are launched, trends are set, and industry connections are forged. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your rig, outfit your RV for the next off-grid escapade, or simply soak up the community vibes, SEMA is the place to be.