Cobra Replicar Registration

SEMA is working with Congress to pass legislation that would allow companies to manufacture up to 500 turn-key replica vehicles annually for customers nationwide. The “Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015” (H.R. 2675) provides new opportunities for SEMA members to grow their companies. H.R. 2675 would benefit businesses that supply equipment along with manufacturers that build and market replica vehicles. Under the measure, these are cars that resemble automobiles produced at least 25 years ago such as ’30s hot rods, 50s classics and ’65 Cobras.

“Small volume auto manufacturing is almost nonexistent in the United States due to the federal government’s ‘one-size-fits-all’ method for regulating car manufacturers,” said SEMA Senior Director of Federal Affairs Stuart Gosswein. “The rules are the same whether you produce 5 million cars or five.”

Replica car companies produce and sell kits, which can be sold to consumers as either a box of auto parts or as an assembled rolling chassis. Kit cars are sold minus the engine/transmission since federal regulators determined that installing the powertrain is the step that makes it a “motor vehicle” and subjects the manufacturer to a host of burdensome regulations.

The “Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015” would permit small manufacturers to produce up to 500 replica vehicles in the United States. Cars produced under the legislation would avail themselves of a simplified regulatory structure, which recognizes the challenges of small-volume production. The bill would benefit small manufacturers, suppliers, and enthusiasts that want to buy a completed vehicle. Enthusiasts would also still have the ability to build specially constructed vehicles that don’t replicate older vehicles.