Classic traders push for stronger representation
The Independent Garage Association (IGA) says it would consider establishing a classic car dealer division – if enough businesses got in touch to support the initiative.
Terry Gibson, IGA head of member services, says around 10% of the IGA’s 3500 members are specialist classic car restorers, but there is a lot of crossover with independent dealers that also have classic sales and specialist repairs. While he says there has been no call to him for a classic-specific body to represent trade views in Westminster and Brussels, businesses have told CCW they would welcome such a move.
The IGA is part of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF) and classic car dealers are represented within that part of the organisation.
Gibson, previously a classic Aston Martin restoration specialist, says: ‘If there are classic car dealers out there that feel they are underrepresented, I’d like to hear from them. As it stands, I haven’t heard from any businesses that have made it known to the IGA they feel under represented. If there was enough of a feeling that more needs to be done, specifically to
voice the concerns of classic dealers on policies that affect them, we would absolutely meet with them and if there was the demand we would be open to the idea of creating a specific classic division.’
George Andreou, managing director of classic and sports car dealer KEG Cars in Rickmansworth, welcomed the offer of a trade body specifically taking classic car dealers into account.
He says: ‘I’ve been a classic car dealer for three years now and I was surprised when I started there wasn’t already a division in place for classics.
‘It’s very difficult with a smaller business to get your voice heard at a national level and if there could be an organisation pushing our agenda, that would be very much welcome.’
Andrew Welham, sales consultant at Classic and Sportscar Centre, Malton, agreed that currently, the classic car dealer industry needs to have more of a united voice. He says: ‘I don’t think there is a lot of support specifically for classic car dealers right now.’
While the Retail Motor Industry Federation covers the British car trade in general, some classic businesses say they need more targeted representation.