Regular Autoblog readers may be more inclined to flip to Discovery's Velocity channel than they would to C-SPAN, but this particular bill being presented in Congress may pique your interest in our federal legislature more than anything since Schoolhouse Rock.
Proposed legislation in the House of Representatives would create a new category of regulations for low-volume automakers – specifically those building replicas of classic automobiles. Current regulations, which hold small-scale manufacturers to the same standards as mass producers, mean that these low-volume automakers are forced to sell their products as kits, but the new category would allow them to offer turn-key vehicles, with no further assembly required on the part of the buyer.
HR 2675 – dubbed the "Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015" – is a bipartisan bill being presented by Congressmen Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Gene Green (D-TX). If voted into law, it would mandate that smaller-scale automakers (producing no more than 500 vehicles per year) would still be required to comply with modern equipment and emissions standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, but be subject to a separate regulatory system for lower-volume production - particularly when it comes to safety standards. Those vehicles, as pointed out by the SEMA in the statement below, are "primarily used in exhibitions, parades and occasional transportation."
"The bill introduced by Reps. Mullin and Green will allow US companies to produce turn-key replicas of older vehicles that are virtually impossible to build under today's restrictive one-size-fits-all regulatory framework," said SEMA chief Chris Kersting. "This program will create skilled-labor jobs in the auto industry and help meet consumer demand for these classics of the past."
SEMA government affairs director Stuart Gosswein tells Autoblog that the bill has been assigned to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "It is still too early to know when it will be scheduled for a hearing or vote," says Gosswein. "The bill has bipartisan support within the Committee. We are currently seeking additional cosponsors and are optimistic about its prospects."
Washington, DC (June 10, 2015) – Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) have introduced bipartisan legislation that would enable low volume car manufacturers to produce turn-key replica vehicles for customers nationwide. Replica vehicles resemble classic cars produced at least 25 years ago. Supported by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), the "Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015" (H.R. 2675) would allow companies to construct up to 500 such cars a year subject to federal regulatory oversight.
The U.S. currently has just one system for regulating automobiles. It was established in the 1960s and designed for companies that mass-produce millions of vehicles. H.R. 2675 creates a separate regulatory framework for small businesses producing modest numbers of cars.
"The bill introduced by Reps. Mullin and Green will allow U.S. companies to produce turn-key replicas of older vehicles that are virtually impossible to build under today's restrictive one-size-fits-all regulatory framework," said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. "This program will create skilled-labor jobs in the auto industry and help meet consumer demand for these classics of the past."
H.R. 2675 directs the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a separate regulatory structure to facilitate the production of replica cars. Manufacturers would be required to register with NHTSA and EPA and submit annual reports on the vehicles they produce. The vehicles would meet current model year emissions standards and manufacturers would be permitted to install clean engines from other EPA-certified vehicles to help achieve that requirement.
H.R. 2675 recognizes the unique circumstances associated with limited production replica vehicles, which are primarily used in exhibitions, parades and occasional transportation. It also provides an opportunity to promote domestic manufacturing and create jobs in the specialty auto sector.
"This bill seeks a reasonable regulatory approach," said Kersting. "It also helps preserve our American automotive heritage."
SEMA will be working with Congressional leaders to promote this important bill. For more information on H.R. 2675, please contact Stuart Gosswein or Eric Snyder at 202.783.6007 or firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963, represents the $33 billion specialty automotive industry of 6,814 member-companies. It is the authoritative source for research, data, trends and market growth information for the specialty auto parts industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles. For more information, contact SEMA at 1575 S. Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765, tel: 909-610-2030, or visit www.sema.org.