Green, Mullin Support U.S. Manufacturing and Skilled Labor with Automotive Bill
WASHINGTON– U.S. Reps. Gene Green (D-TX) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) introduced a bill that supports manufacturing jobs and skilled labor in the U.S. automotive industry. The H.R. 2675, the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015 would protect low volume car manufacturers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) one-size-fits-all method for regulating automakers. The law would only apply to companies that manufacture “replica” cars, which are vehicles that resemble a car produced over 25 years ago.
“While the market for these vehicles has been historically small, the enthusiasm hobbyists have for these cars shouldn’t be stymied by regulations that are clearly designed for large scale manufacturers.” Green said. “This bill will improve the current practice of selling “kit cars”, bringing the engines installed into the 21st century by requiring them to meet current year Clean Air Act standards along with maintaining an onboard diagnostic system. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the committee as the bill goes forward.”
Under current law, replica cars on the market are sold as “kit cars,” which requires the hobbyist to install the engine of the vehicle. There have been approximately 16,000 kit cars sold in the U.S. over the past twenty years, but it is estimated that H.R. 2675 would spur initial sales of up to 500 additional kit cars per year completed by low volume manufacturers rather than hobbyists.
Mullin said, “The current law does not take into account the unique challenges that small auto manufacturers face when it comes to recreating historic cars. We can’t expect these companies to be able to comply with a law that was established in the 1960s for automakers that mass-produce millions of vehicles every year. We need encourage growth in our manufacturing market, not create unnecessary barriers.”
Under H.R. 2675, the replica cars would meet current emissions standards, and The Clean Air Act would be adjusted to require the low volume manufacturers to install engines from a current model year vehicle along with an on-board diagnostics system (OBD system). The companies producing the cars would also be required to register with NHTSA and the EPA, as well as file annual reports and be subject to oversight by the agencies.
H.R. 2675 has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, of which Mullin and Green are both members