22 December 2003

Specialist sports car makers like Caterham and Noble are breathing a sigh of relief after EU law-makers backed down over a plan to set restrictive quotas for low-volume production.

The EU had proposed to limit the maximum output of a single model to just 500 cars, a quota that would have had dire consequences for the UK industry. But a draft document circulating in Brussels has suggested raising the limit to 3000 cars from 2007.

‘It looks hopeful that we’ve got the numbers we asked for, but this is still only a proposal and things could change,’ said Denzil Brunning, a homologation expert for transport consultancy Status.

Current low-volume type approval (LVTA) only applies in the UK, leaving other EU states to decide whether they will accept cars so approved. Many do not.

LVTA exempts specialist sports car makers from about 35 of the most demanding of the 60 directives that a major car maker has to comply with before a car is fit for EU sale.

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