Clas­sic traders push for stronger rep­re­sen­ta­tion

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - News - Tom Sey­mour­de­pen­dent­garage­as­so­ci­a­

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.

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