Women and children first!

Women and children first!

Footman James research shows inclusivity is essential to classic car industry survival

A new report on the classic and collector car industry has emphasised that decline is imminent unless the hobby can attract and keep a new generation – and a new demographic – of enthusiasts. While this may be seen to be rather stating the obvious, the potential speed and scale of the collapse from a thriving sector worth £18billion to the UK economy and employing 113,000 people has prompted calls for immediate and co-ordinated action. The findings were in the 50-page Indicator Report from leading insurer Footman James. The ‘state of the nation’ report showed that the industry needs to be a more inclusive and diverse space in order to secure its long-term growth and relevance.

Some of the key findings were:

  • Only 9% of Footman James’ clients are female
  • Almost half the Generation Z audience of people aged under 25 would consider buying a classic car
  • More than half of all millennials would consider joint ownership of a classic vehicle but, curiously, only 35% would consider buying one outright.

The report claims to reveal that the classic car industry is far more than just a moneymaking machine, and that it also breeds communities. It highlights the lockdowninduced REVS community and the longstanding PistonHeads forums as examples of this, but stresses that they will need to look further than traditional classic car fans and attract new audiences to survive.

The biggest untapped group of enthusiasts, however, is women. Even though statistics show that more women than ever before currently own classic cars, the numbers are tiny in comparison to their male counterparts and the hobby remains almost entirely male dominated. Yet a healthy 22% of women said they would consider owning a classic car.

Footman James MD David Bond said: ‘Change is good for our community. In many ways, as this report highlights, we have changed and evolved as a classic car sector, using technology and communities in times of need. But, if we look around, it’s clear to see that our industry isn’t doing enough to change quickly enough, especially around the gender and age of enthusiasts. ‘Speaking to clients and the public about classic and collector cars, as a community, we’re deemed as old-school as our cars, and we must listen to this criticism and become more attractive, inclusive and welcoming to the new era of the community. After all, without change, we wouldn’t have grown the classic and enthusiast vehicle sector this far.’ Download the full report at footmanjames. co.uk/the-indicator-report.

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