The Historic and Classic Vehicles Alliance (HCVA) intends to campaign on behalf of individuals and companies in the classic vehicle sector, as well as instilling accountability, common standards and a code of conduct to the members who sign up.
The group says that complex new rules around exporting and importing cars and parts to and from the EU – along with widespread misconceptions surrounding of the environmental impact of vintage motoring – are damaging owners’ confidence and enthusiasm. It believes that 113,000 jobs are in peril, and is calling on UK politicians and regulators to use their post-Brexit independence to help grow the industry.
To demonstrate the classic sector’s worth, the HCVA quotes figures from HERO-ERA’s 60-page report published in December 2020. This puts the industry’s annual turnover at £18.3 billion, with the three-million-strong British classic fleet valued at over £12 billion, and with annual tax revenue generated for the exchequer close to £3 billion.
The HCVA also highlights how the industry is spread across the country, with only five per cent of activity based in London, and how the industry gives opportunities to young people by providing training places and apprenticeship schemes.
As well as finding solutions to the red tape around vehicle movements, the HCVA aims to educate the public, politicians and regulators on environmental issues. Thanks to its research, the alliance says that it can demonstrate that classic vehicles only have a relatively modest impact on the environment and that the industry’s repair culture is the epitome of sustainability.
The 15-strong HCVA team is drawn from senior positions inside and outside the industry, and includes SNG Barratt CEO Julian Barratt, Classic Oils director Guy Lachlan, Eagle E-Types founder Henry Pearman and HERO-ERA chairman and co-founder, Tomas de Vargas Machuca.
oining Pearman as an HCVA’s director is Harry Whale of Silverstone Auctions. “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,” he said. “We’re taking the initiative now to address current challenges, clear up confusion and grasp opportunities to find solutions.”
Advisory board member Emma Crickmay, who is joint managing director at Rolls-Royce and Bentley specialists Frank Dale and Stepsons, added: “It is absolutely vital we take steps to preserve jobs and encourage new generations into pursuing fulfilling careers in our industry. It is so important that conditions are created that allow us to develop training programmes, support skills transfer and boost diversity. We are very keen to see a boost in apprenticeships – it’s investment in the future.”
Sympathetic supporters of the new alliance include prominent politicians such as former Department for Transport Parliamentary Under-secretary and East Sussex MP Nus Ghani, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee Philip Dunne, and legendary Formula One designer Professor Gordon Murray.
HCVA membership is open to businesses and individuals from across the sector. For more information see www.hcva.co.uk.