GNYADA Pres. Mark Schienberg on electric cars, OEM direct sales and the New York Auto Show


Today on Inside Automotive, we are thrilled to once again welcome Mark Schienberg, President of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association or GNYADA, to discuss this year’s New York Auto Show and his thoughts on the electric vehicle revolution continues.

It felt good to wrap up this year’s New York Auto Show, says Schienberg. It’s been three years since the 2019 show, so there has been considerable time in between, and many starts and stops as the state navigates through the pandemic. To finally put on a show with the support of the industry and the public has been quite rewarding, he adds.

Since the previous show, a lot has happened in the development of large electric vehicles. It’s not new for auto shows to feature electric cars and other types of alternative fuel cars. The first show in 1900 in New York had an exhibit of electric, steam and gasoline engines. New York, in particular, kicked off the discussion about electric vehicles probably 15, 20 years ago and hosted a roundtable with Ralph Nader and others who came loosely to discuss the future of electric vehicles. Now, seeing it in full bloom is fascinating, says Schienberg.

To transition this massive fleet from gas combustion engines to electrification, electric vehicles must be affordable to the average consumer. All support measures must be made available to consumers, including tax credits. The auto industry realizes that if you put money on the hood, it brings consumers to the table, Schienberg says. The industry has been doing this for a long time.

The idea that OEM direct-to-consumer sales will achieve this goal is completely wrong, says Schienberg. The only way for the industry to successfully sell electric vehicles to all consumers is through franchised dealerships. They have sometimes been in their communities for over a hundred years. Not only do they sell great products, but they also meet consumer needs with service, loaner cars, and other options.

Preventing and limiting direct-to-consumer OEM sales is one of GNYADA’s two important initiatives. The GNYADA wants to ensure that consumer choice and healthy competition remain very strong in New York. When you consider what manufacturers are building for electric vehicles, they’re amazing, says Schienberg. The second initiative focuses on car brokerage. There is a huge growth in independent businesses opening websites and trading cars from mostly out of state deals. The legislature needs to take a serious look at these issues and support franchise car dealerships that are essential to local economies.

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