In light of new coronavirus concerns and the increase in Delta variant cases, the New York Auto Show has once again been canceled and rescheduled for a later date. Should car dealers be concerned that COVID restrictions are back on the rise? Joining us on the show, to discuss the cancellation is Mark Schienberg, President of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association (GNYADA).
Schienberg begins the conversation by discussing the decision to cancel the show. Schienberg says they started to see an increase in cases and situations concerning COVID that were going in the wrong direction. The health and safety of the public is their top concern, which is why the association decided to make the call and cancel the show. Schienberg says he is comfortable about the decision and feels that it was the right one to make.
New York City recently became the first U.S. city to require proof of vaccination for a variety of activities, including indoor dining, gyms, and performances. The auto show, which was estimated to occupy a million feet of the Javits Center, the state had a protocol that if you have anything more than 5,000 people in an indoor facility at the same time, people would have to be fully vaccinated, so it became impossible to manage. The auto show has a $300 million economic impact on the local area.
One of the biggest issues Schienberg says, they’ve been working on for the past few years, is automotive brokerage. In New York there’s allowance to have independent auto brokers, selling and leasing cars. It has created an issue, where there are more auto brokers than franchised new car dealers.
When it comes to EVs, Schienberg says, we are at a point where we see the adoption of electrification of cars is here and the technology is available. One of the things, Schienberg says they did at the auto show, 8 years ago was they had the electric ride and drive with consumers. Before this year’s show was canceled, they dedicated almost a quarter of a million square feet to ride and drives. The public is wanting to learn more about the technology. Scheinberg does think this is an exciting time for the auto industry, where electrification is what we’re going to see in people’s driveways.
Schienberg ends the conversation on how things stand currently in New York. He says things are getting better, but what they’re missing in New York is tourism. New York was a $61 billion tourism industry before COVID-19 and that’s going to take a while to get back. He says, it’s going in the right direction but they have a ways to go.
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