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

Today on Inside Automotive, we’re pleased to welcome back 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 continuing EV revolution.

It felt good to get this year’s New York Auto Show done, says Schienberg. It’s been three years since the 2019 show. So, there was considerable time in between, and many starts and stops as the state navigated through the pandemic. To finally put together a show with the support of the industry and the public was pretty rewarding, he adds.

Since the previous show, much has happened in developing great electric vehicles. It’s nothing new for auto shows to feature electric cars and other alternative fuel types of cars. The first show back in 1900 in New York had an exhibition of electric, steam engines, and gas-powered vehicles. New York, in particular, started the EV discussion probably 15, 20 years ago and hosted a round table with Ralph Nader and others at, at vaguely that came to discuss the future of electric vehicles. Now, seeing it come in full bloom is fascinating, Schienberg says.

To change this massive fleet from gas combustion engines over to electrification, EVs have to be affordable to the average consumer. There needs to be every bit of help available to consumers, including tax credits. The auto industry is aware that if you put money on the hood, that brings consumers to the table, says Schienberg. The industry has been doing this for a long time.

The idea that OEM direct-to-consumer sales are going to achieve this goal is completely wrong, explains Schienberg. The only way that the industry is ever going to successfully sell electric vehicles to all consumers is through franchise dealers. They have been in their communities for over a hundred years sometimes. They not only sell great products, but they also support consumers’ needs with service, loaner cars, and other options.

Preventing and limiting OEM direct-to-consumer sales is one of two significant initiatives for GNYADA. The GNYADA wants to ensure that consumer choice and healthy competition remain very strong in New York. When you consider what the manufacturers are building for electric vehicles, they’re extraordinary, says Schienberg. The second initiative focuses on brokering cars. There is an enormous growth in independent businesses opening up websites and brokering cars from mostly out-of-state transactions. The legislature needs to get serious about looking at those issues and supporting franchise car dealers that are essential to local economies.

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