BACK TO
MENU PAGE

01/19/21 - SEMA announces new regulation passes for producing low volume turn-key replica cars

January 19.2021 DIAMOND BAR, CA  - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has completed a regulation permitting low volume motor vehicle manufacturers to begin selling replica cars that resemble vehicles produced at least 25 years ago. Congress enacted a SEMA-led bill into law in 2015, which streamlined requirements for small automakers, but implementation was delayed while awaiting the NHTSA regulations. Replica car businesses will now be able to produce and sell replica vehicles.

"SEMA applauds NHTSA's final rule allowing companies to market classic-themed cars," said SEMA President and CEO Christopher J. Kersting. "Regulatory barriers have previously prevented small automakers from producing heritage cars for eager customers. The roadblocks have been eliminated. Companies will be able to hire workers, start making necessary parts and components, and produce and sell cars." 

The replica car law and implementing regulations allow a low volume manufacturer to construct up to 325 such replica cars a year subject to federal regulatory oversight. Replica cars resemble production vehicles manufactured at least 25 years ago--from 1930s roadsters to 1970s muscle cars, and more. Until now, the U.S. had just one system for regulating automobiles which was designed for companies that mass-produce millions of vehicles. The new program recognizes the unique challenges faced by companies that produce a small number of custom cars.

The vehicles are required to meet current model year emissions standards. In 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued guidelines for installing engine packages from other EPA-certified vehicles and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) issued a regulation for producing compliant engine packages. SEMA sued NHTSA in October 2019 to require the agency to issue regulations allowing the law to take effect. NHTSA issued a proposed rule in January 2020.

The regulation does not take effect until it is officially published in the Federal Register. Low volume vehicle manufacturers will then be required to register with NHTSA, EPA, and CARB before selling vehicles and thereafter submit annual reports on vehicle productions. Enthusiasts still have the option to build a car from a kit but now they may also purchase a turn-key replica car.

---------------

About SEMA and the SEMA Show
The SEMA Show is a trade show produced by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), a nonprofit trade association founded in 1963. Since the first SEMA Show debuted in 1967, the annual event has served as the leading venue bringing together manufacturers and buyers within the automotive specialty equipment industry. Products featured at the SEMA Show include those that enhance the styling, functionality, comfort, convenience and safety of cars and trucks. Additional details are available at 
www.SEMAShow.com or www.sema.org, 909/396-0289.

About Performance Racing Industry  
Since its inception in 1986, Performance Racing Industry (PRI) has served as the motorsports industry's key source for trends, merchandising ideas, new products, business strategies, and more. Through its monthly business magazine, 
Performance Racing Industry, and the world's premier auto racing trade show, the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis, IN, motorsports industry members from all over the world remain in tune with the worldwide racing marketplace. For more information, visit PerformanceRacing.com.