FROM THE HILL
Hillbank Motors Hosts U.S. Representative Mimi Walters
Lance Stander of Hillbank Motor Corp. (left) shows U.S. Representative Mimi Walters (R-CA) his company’s inventory of vehicles.
U.S. Representative Mimi Walters (R-CA) was first elected to Congress in November 2014. While many freshman members of Congress come to Washington, D.C., with much to learn, Walters was ready from day one. Her background in business and experience in the California Legislature prepared her for the rigors of the nation’s capital. For the 50-plus SEMA-member companies in her district, based in Orange County, that’s a winning combination.
One such beneficiary is Hillbank Motor Corp., which operates out of a 5,000-sq.-ft. showroom located in the center of Southern California’s car culture. Owned and operated by Lance Stander, Hillbank is a supplier for a wide range of replica vehicles, concept cars, body kits, performance parts and accessories. Hillbank, the southwestern dealer for Superformance replica and Shelby continuation cars, hosted Rep. Walters at its facility in Irvine, California.
“I was excited to meet with Rep. Walters here at Hillbank,” Stander said. “Knowing that you have an ally in Washington with your best interests at heart is every business owner’s dream.”
Passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in November as part of a larger transportation bill, the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act would allow companies like Hillbank Motor Corp. to produce 500 turnkey cars per year that resemble classic vehicles that were originally made 25 years ago or more.
Rep. Walters first heard the call to public service in 1996, when she began her political career as a member of the Laguna Niguel City Council. In 2000, she was elected the city’s mayor. Her professional career includes time as an investment manager and a term on the board of the National Association of Women Business Owners. She was elected to the California State Assembly in 2004 and the State Senate in 2008. In 2014, residents of California’s 45th Congressional District overwhelmingly elected her as their new U.S. representative.
In Congress, Rep. Walters is a rising star. As the House Republican Leadership Committee’s freshman representative, she advocates for policies that lower taxes and reduce government intrusion into the interests of businesses. Walters was also one of the first members of Congress to publicly throw her support behind SEMA-supported legislation to create a simplified regulatory system for small companies hoping to manufacture completed replica automobiles. Under the bill, low-volume automakers would be allowed to make up to 500 turnkey cars per year that resemble classic vehicles that were originally produced 25 years ago or more.
Walters toured the Hillbank Motor Corp. facility in Irvine, California. Hillbank is a supplier for a wide range of replica vehicles, concept cars, body kits, performance parts and accessories, and also a dealer for Superformance replica and Shelby continuation cars.
The legislation complements the existing kit-car industry, providing hobbyists with the choice to assemble their own vehicles or purchase turnkey vehicles. While many automotive enthusiasts enjoy the process of assembling a replica vehicle, not everyone has the time or technical skills needed to complete a kit car. By permitting the production and sale of turnkey replica vehicles, the bill expands the replica market to include these individuals. The Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives in November as part of a larger transportation bill.
Rep. Walters is no stranger to SEMA and the automotive aftermarket. During her days in the California Senate, she was a member of the SEMA-supported State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus and introduced legislation that eased the state’s length restrictions on motorsports semi trailers. Her visit to Hillbank reaffirmed her support of the industry.
“Relieving the regulatory burden on our small businesses is exactly why I came to Washington,” Rep. Walters said. “This legislation helps not only our local economy but will also create jobs nationwide. I was thrilled to see it pass in the House of Representatives.”
For more information on planning your own Congressional District Site Visit, contact Christian Robinson in the SEMA government affairs office via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.