SEMA eNews Vol. 14, No. 45, November 10, 2011

Bipartisan Bill Allowing Low-Volume Production of Specialty Cars Introduced in U.S. Congress

Congressman John Campbell (R-CA) has introduced a bipartisan bill, supported by SEMA, to enable low-volume car manufacturers to provide a range of specialty vehicles for customers nationwide. The legislation directs the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a regulatory structure to facilitate the production of these cars. Rep. John Barrow (D-GA), Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) have joined as original co-sponsors of “The Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act” (H.R. 3274).

Vehicles produced by low-volume manufacturers include replica street rods, customs and sports cars. They are primarily used in exhibitions, parades and occasional transportation. Vehicles included in this new program would meet current emissions standards. The legislation would permit companies to install EPA-certified clean engines. The vehicles could also incorporate alternative energy technology, encouraging green companies to build low-emission cars.

The United States currently has just one system for regulating cars, which is designed for companies that mass-produce millions of vehicles. The “Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2011” creates an alternative regulatory framework for American manufacturers producing 1,000 or fewer vehicles a year. This approach acknowledges the unique circumstances associated with limited-production custom vehicles.

“Rep. Campbell’s bill will allow U.S. companies to produce safe, clean, one-of-a-kind vehicles that are virtually impossible to build under today’s 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 niche vehicles.”

“This bill seeks a reasonable regulatory approach,” said Kersting. “We hope lawmakers will seize this opportunity to expand America’s manufacturing base. We urge members of Congress to support H.R. 3274, bipartisan legislation that promotes America’s economic recovery though domestic manufacturing.”

SEMA will be working with Congressional leaders to promote this important bill. 

For more information on H.R. 3274, please contact Stuart Gosswein or Dan Sadowski at 202-783-6007 or stuartg@sema.org, dans@sema.org.

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