The History of COSVAM
In January 1996, over two dozen small automobile manufacturers met at Forbes House in London. For several hours, they discussed the steadily escalating difficulties, costs and complexities in certifying cars for sale into the US market. They exchanged information and opinions about possible strategies to fight back against the tide of federal legislation that was threatening to overwhelm the industry in Europe, as it had already done in America. At the end of the meeting, they decided to formalise their professional interests by organizing the Coalition of Small Volume Automobile Manufacturers, informally known as COSVAM.
Over the next five years, the successes of COSVAM grew to encompass more than the original group ever intended. In 1997, the powerful California Air Resources Board (CARB) granted more time for SVM compliance with the most complicated and expensive emissions regulations saving the member companies hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process. In 1998, the US Congress passed the COSVAM Bumper Bill, signed into law by President Clinton, a landmark piece of legislation that represented the first official federal recognition of the SVM industry. In 1999, NHTSA recognised the SVM industry, and in 2000, the EPA did so, as well.
While many of the modest goals of COSVAM have been met, there are still many more obstacles facing the industry that continue to threaten its existence. In 2000, COSVAM has begun to lobby the US legislators on Capitol Hill in search of full federal recognition of the needs and rights of the people in the SVM industry.
While the principal focus of COSVAM is on lobbying the US federal government, the organisation offers a vast support network of professionals that members can use throughout the year for advice and to progress their company's penetration into the American market.