For the third year in a row, the Ford Mustang has been voted the Hottest Car at SEMA, though the fact that it’s an all-new model this year was always going to be in its favor. The Mustang once again edged out its Chevrolet Camaro arch rival, but the tables may turn next year as the bowtie brand’s hero is set to receive its own redesign soon.
The annual award, dubbed the SEMA Award, recognizes the most accessory-friendly vehicle based on the volume of aftermarket parts exhibited for it. There are other categories too, including for the Hottest 4x4-SUV, Hottest Truck and Hottest Sport Compact.
The Jeep Wrangler took home the award for the 4x4-SUV category, while Ford Motor Company’s [NYSE:F] F-Series was the winner of the Truck category. Finally, the Honda Fit was picked for the Sport Compact category.
The SEMA Award is significant as the winners aren’t picked by a jury but by their popularity on the floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center, where the Specialty Equipment Market Association’s annual show takes place. Basically, the winners are picked by surveying all 2,500 exhibitors in regards to the vehicles they are displaying in their booths.
There are a lot of dollars tied in with the aftermarket industry these days (around $33 billion according to SEMA), which is probably why we’ve seen interest growing among the automakers. But in addition to this, research has shown that the availability of accessories has a strong influence on vehicle purchase decisions. According to SEMA, nearly a third of vehicle purchase decisions were driven by the availability of accessories for a particular model, and nearly 1 in 10 buyers decided on a particular vehicle after seeing a modified version of it.
Pictured above is Roush’s RS3 package for the 2015 Mustang GT. You can read about it and other cars appearing at this week’s SEMA show by heading to our dedicated hub.