The Circle – Why and What

We live in an exciting moment of history, full of fast and fundamental change. The internet has disrupted and will continue to disrupt industries, including the car industry. Classic car collectors, aficionados and industry stakeholders love old cars – as a passion or as a business – and want this wonderful story to continue.

Taking a bird’s eye view of the classic car world, we have identified some imminent questions about the future of classic cars in general, and specifically about our opportunities to use them in future, about generational transition and about value development.

  • The top 100 collectors in the world own 3,500 of the most important automotive gems, worth US$ 8bn. These collectors are on average 72 years old (20% of them are around 80). What are their succession solutions? Will they sell their cars, donate them to museums or make their own museums, or will they pass them on to their sons and daughters? What would it mean for this market if 25% of them sold their collections as a succession solution in the next couple of years? This would mean some US$ 2bn of the world’s most important cars changing hands.
  • How does the generation of tomorrow look at these cars from yesterday? They have their own taste and live different lives, with new priorities in another world. At Pebble Beach in 2018 the average vintage of all cars sold was 1968 – compared to 1960 in 2014.
  • The car industry is undergoing a sharp transformation, with new shared mobility concepts and trends like “connected life”. Industry leaders feel that classic cars will still be important for their companies – as their DNA and as their history, but will we be able to use our classic cars in 10 years from now, and what can we do to help ensure we can?

The mission of the Circle is to create a platform for a meeting of minds and to foster an exchange among leaders of the international classic car community for the good of the future of classic cars. The Circle brings together major collectors, business leaders, politicians, opinion leaders and experts to discuss solutions for the most pressing questions facing the classic car world. It will be a not-for-profit organization funded by concerned founders, industry partners and donors with a limited number of fellows. The World Economic Forum may serve as a model for its principles of governance and practice.

The Circle is an initiative of The Classic Car Trust, and participants at the September 2018 Circle meeting in Basel agreed that there is an important need to discuss and to help steer solutions. They unanimously supported the idea of The Circle.

Fritz Kaiser
Founder of The Classic Car Trust

Impressions of The Circle 2018:

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