The decision of General Motors to skip the 2022 SEMA Show in Las Vegas may sound like a minor issue on the surfaces - but it could have far greater long-term impact.

That’s because Chevrolet isn’t the only major car maker skipping the aftermarket equipment expo, with Ford also announcing it won’t make the effort to show up in 2022.

Why is this a big deal? Because both Chevrolet and Ford have used SEMA as a showcase for its present and future accessories and other customisation pieces. 

In 2021 Chevrolet had a major presence with custom creations including the latest take on MotorTrend’s 1957 Chevy ‘Project X’, 1000hp Z/28 Camaro and the new Silverado ZR2 and Corvette Z06. Ford had an even larger involvement at the show, not only showing off its own F-100 ‘Eluminator’ electric concept, the Bronco Desert Racer and a raft of concepts but also had an outdoor arena to sample its cars.

The concern is neither brand has made it clear why it has decided to withdraw from the world’s best market for aftermarket parts to enhance your muscle car.

In a statement to Muscle Cars and Trucks, a Chevrolet spokesperson confirmed it wouldn’t be at this year’s show but didn’t clarify why, saying: “GM has made the decision not to participate in the 2022 SEMA Show. The SEMA Show has always inspired us, and accessories and performance parts remain an important part of our business.”

Obviously the market for new performance muscle cars is contracting, but Chevrolet still offers the Corvette and Camaro, while Ford is set to launch a new-generation Mustang in the near-future. Given both brands focused heavily on electrification in 2021 could point to a very different future for car mods that didn’t sit well with the SEMA crowd.

Or, possibly, the decision to skip the show may just be a cost-saving exercise at a time when car makers are struggling from the on-going pandemic and the global supply chain crisis.

Whatever the reason, hopefully it’s only a single year missing from America’s two muscle car stalwarts at the world’s biggest aftermarket extravaganza.