Boris Johnson and his cronies are being urged to step in and save Britain’s world-leading historic and classic vehicle industry before it’s too late…
The message comes from a new trade association, the Historic and Classic Vehicles Alliance (HCVA), which launches today (25/5/21). Its mission is a simple one – to protect and promote the sector and secure its long-term future.
In excess of 100,000 jobs could be lost as the wheels of bureaucracy and poorly-focused environmental legislation aimlessly wander as the UK strives to recover from the Covid pandemic in which highly skilled engineers, restorers, artisans, and suppliers face uncertainty over their livelihoods.
The ‘non profit’ organisation is calling on British Politicians and Regulators to use their post-Brexit regulatory independence to help grow this valuable sector of the economy and has said it 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 £12 billion and annual tax revenue generated for the exchequer is close to £3 billion.
HCVA director, Harry Whale:
“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.”
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.
While the roadmap is showing positive signs of recovery, 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 the 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 are 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.
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.
Legendary Formula 1 designer Professor Gordon Murray said:
“It has always been important to support individuals, companies, and organisations that preserve our Automotive Heritage. The restoration and preservation of classic cars keep our rich history in the automotive sector alive for future generations. As we move towards electrification and ever more stringent regulations, in my view it will become even more important to support and protect our classic automotive heritage.”
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