SEMA News—February 2012

By Dan Sadowski

Bipartisan Legislation Enabling Low-Volume Production of Specialty Vehicles Introduced in U.S. Congress

Bill Provides New Opportunities for Domestic Job Creation and Manufacturing Growth

  Congressman John Campbell (R-CA), aftermarket parts regulation, auto legislation
Rep. John Campbell is a lifelong automotive enthusiast and avid car collector.
  Congressman John Campbell (R-CA), aftermarket parts regulation, auto legislation
Congressman John Campbell (R-CA), original sponsor for H.R. 3274, the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act.

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) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“This legislation makes a common-sense fix to our current regulatory structure that will allow new innovation in the automobile market,” Campbell said. “However, it is even more important to the larger economy right now, as it is a job-creating bill that will unleash the manufacturing capabilities of small businesses around the country.”

Vehicles produced by low-volume manufacturers include replica street rods, customs and sports cars. They are primarily used in exhibitions, parades and occasional transportation. The cars would meet current Clean Air Act emissions standards. The legislation would permit a company to install an engine that has already been tested and EPA-certified by another manufacturer. The vehicles could also incorporate alternative energy technology, encouraging green companies to build low-emissions cars.

The U.S. 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 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. 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 through domestic manufacturing.”

SEMA is working with lawmakers to introduce a companion bill in the U.S. Senate. For more information on H.R. 3274, please contact Stuart Gosswein or Dan Sadowski by phone at 202-783-6007 .

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