DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (Dec. 8, 2008) — The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is opposing efforts to revive consideration of federal funding for vehicle scrappage programs, an idea that has come to the fore as Congress debates ways to assist the domestic vehicle industry.
“Cash for Clunkers as a national policy, even on a voluntary basis, would come at the expense of many small businesses and ignores the better policy option of encouraging consumers to repair and upgrade their vehicles,” SEMA said in letters sent to members of the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committee. SEMA sent the communication after word surfaced that Congress might consider using tax dollars to entice motorists to trade in older cars and trucks for newer models.
In its appeals, SEMA emphasized that auto restoration, customization and repair shops nationwide, as well as hobbyists, would suffer with the indiscriminate destruction of older cars, trucks and parts they need if scrappage programs were expanded with federal funds.
SEMA argued that federal funds for scrappage programs would cut business to the broader independent aftermarket, composed mostly of small businesses. It would be counterproductive for Congress to enact a measure that would hurt the specialty industry and independent auto restoration and repair shops at a time when Congress is seeking to stimulate and support small business, the association argued.