The early numbers are in, and they are good. Very good.
One day before the start of the 2012 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show,, Gavin Knapp, SEMA's senior market research manager, revealed the early registration numbers to State Association Appreciation Luncheon attendees.
Here are what Knapp called "optimistic" numbers.
* Early buyer registration was within one-half percent of last year's 58,000 total, which itself was 17% higher than in 2010.
* Out of the Modern Tire Dealer 100 list of the largest independent tire dealers in the United States, nine out of the top 10 were signed up to attend. And 19 out of the top 25. And more than half of the entire list.
* There more than 4,500 buyers in tire categories, what Knapp described as "tire dealers or distributors." In addition, more than 13,000 registrants "expressed interest in tires."
For the Global Tire Expo-Powered by TIA segment of the show, Knapp said the 240 exhibitors were up slightly over the 2011 total (from 239 to 240) and 24% over 2010's total. The Global Tire Expo accounts for 130,000 square feet of the SEMA Show's total space.
A record 132,000 people attended the 2011 SEMA Show. There also were 61,000 buyers, also a record and close to 19% higher than in 2010.
Actual attendance will be affected by the weather inflicted upon the east coast by Hurricane Sandy. The show will run from Oct. 30 through Nov. 2, 2012 at the Las Vegas (Nev.) Convention Center.
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.