The UTV Student Build Pilot Program, a program launched by the SEMA Young Executives Network (YEN) to connect young aftermarket professionals with aspiring automotive students, will showcase the completed 2019 Honda Talon in a multi-city tour before being auctioned off at the world’s largest collector car auction, the Mecum Auction, in November. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go toward benefiting the SEMA Scholarship Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity.
Sponsored by YEN, the customized Talon was completed by students from the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts (AXC), who throughout the course of the semester worked alongside industry mentors to produce a one-of-a-kind UTV using products donated from 16 SEMA member companies. Skills learned include project management, 3-D scanning, CAD, manufacturing, installation, fabrication, suspension, body styling, wiring, and testing.
“The purpose of the build was to inspire youth to become automotive hobbyists and to encourage career paths into the automotive aftermarket,” said Kirstin Stone, chairman of the SEMA Young Executives Network. “This UTV build allowed YEN members to introduce the greater scope of the opportunities available in the aftermarket while encouraging trade skills.”
After weeks of mentorship and instruction from YEN members, the students’ labor culminated in a unique build that was displayed at the 2019 SEMA Show. The UTV will now tour at various off-road events throughout 2020, which includes The Mint 400 in Las Vegas, L.A. County Fair in Los Angeles, and the Off-Road Expo in Pomona, California.
“SEMA is invested in the future of the automotive industry and is proud to support a program that has offered students a wide variety of professional development and training opportunities,” said Zane Clark, SEMA director of education. “With the proceeds being invested into the SEMA Scholarship Program, we can continue to help automotive students pay for their college tuition and SEMA members pay off their student loans.”