Historic and Classic Vehicles Alliance
100k+ SKILLED UK JOBS AT RISK AS RED TAPE THREATENS TO STRANGLE CLASSIC VEHICLE TRADE.
NEW TRADE ASSOCIATION WILL CAMPAIGN TO SECURE FUTURE OF GREAT BRITISH INDUSTRY
More than 100,000 jobs are in peril as a combination of bureaucracy and poorly-focused environmental legislation threatens Britain’s world leading classic vehicle industry.
With economic revival a top priority as the UK strives to recover from the Covid pandemic, highly-skilled engineers, restorers, craftsmen and parts suppliers face uncertainty over their livelihoods.
Leading figures in the classic vehicle industry fear complex new rules around exporting and importing cars and parts to and from the EU and widespread misunderstanding of the environmental impact of vintage motoring are damaging owners’ confidence and enthusiasm.
They are calling on British Politicians and Regulators to use their post-Brexit regulatory independence to help grow this valuable sector of the economy.
They have formed a new trade association, the Historic and Classic Vehicles Alliance (HCVA), which launches today (25/5/21) with a mission to protect and promote the sector and secure its long-term future.
The ‘not for profit’ organisation intends to campaign on behalf of individuals and companies in the classic vehicle world including specialist restorers, dealers, parts suppliers and a broad cross section of the multi-billion-pound industry. The sector’s contribution to the UK economy is huge. Annual turnover including substantial international trade is estimated at £18.3 billion, the three-million-strong British classic fleet is valued at over £12billion and annual tax revenue generated for the exchequer is close to £3 billion.
Significantly, the industry is spread the length and breadth of the country, with clusters of specialists operating in the West Midlands, Lancashire, Kent and Sussex – and only 5% of activity based in London.
The trade, in which British craft skills and engineering excellence lead the world, supports around 113,000 jobs in thousands of specialist small businesses and supply chain firms. It also provides training places and apprenticeship schemes, giving opportunities to young people.
HCVA director Harry Whale said: ‘Our sector is a great British success story and has been for decades. But it’s in serious jeopardy and may not survive to continue providing opportunities for future generations if we don’t act now. In a world of mind-boggling bureaucracy, with environmental and other legislation looming, we need to ensure the voice of the industry and owners is heard and understood by regulators and those in power. We’ll work hard for the whole sector. We’re taking the initiative now to address current challenges, clear up confusion and grasp opportunities to find solutions. These problems span the world and we’re determined to take a long-term view as we campaign to secure the future.’
Fellow director Henry Pearman said: ‘Classic and historic vehicles invariably bring a smile to the face of people who see them on our roads or TV screens. There are more than a million passionate owners in the UK and around 10 million people who are interested in these vehicles which really are an important element of our national heritage. The time has come for us in the industry, owners and enthusiasts to all to join together to correct a host of myths and misconceptions and to protect and celebrate the world we love.’
The HCVA is seeking solutions, as many businesses and owners find themselves trapped in a bureaucratic nightmare as they navigate red tape surrounding the movement of vehicles and parts for sales, restoration, competition preparation and events.
Alliance founders are on a mission to educate public, politicians and regulators on environmental issues. They are respectful of the green agenda and argue that restoration and revival of classic and historic vehicles is in fact the epitome of sustainability because it is all about applying enduring skills to prolonging the life of great pieces of craftsmanship rather than surrendering to built-in obsolescence.
The Alliance can demonstrate that, contrary to popular misconception, classic vehicle emissions have a relatively modest impact on the environment compared to many modern cars because they are typically better maintained and driven sparingly. Restoring and improving a classic, they argue, creates far less emissions than producing and shipping any new vehicle. On average classics are only driven around 16 times a year covering circa 1200 miles, with many doing much less, and producing just 20% of the CO2 emissions from using a computer and a mobile phone for a year.
Mythbusting 1: CLASSIC CARS ARE JUST RICH MEN’S PLAYTHINGS
In fact there are far more Fords than Ferraris, more Rovers than Rollers, more Austins than Astons, and the industry is populated by more mechanics than millionaires. The average value of a classic is around £5,400
Mythbusting 2: CLASSIC CARS ARE POLLUTING GAS GUZZLERS
In fact restoration of classics is the epitome of sustainability - the opposite of wasteful energy-hungry discard and replace culture. On average classics are only driven around 16 times a year covering circa 1200 miles, with many doing much less, and producing just 20% of the CO2 emissions from using a computer and a mobile phone for a year
Mythbusting 3: CLASSIC CAR DEALERS AND RESTORERS CAN’T BE TRUSTED In fact HCVA members will all sign up to a strict code of conduct committing to reliable common standards, consumer protection and creating a new ‘kite mark’
Mythbusting 4: CLASSIC CARS ARE DEATHTRAPS DRIVEN BY ROADHOGS
In fact the industry is dedicated to high-quality craftsmanship and restoring vehicles to optimum standards of safety and efficient running. Expert attention to braking, steering and suspension ensures exemplary safety standards while remaining faithful to tradition