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Why Pennsylvania dealers are keeping an eye on OEMs and lawmakers — John Delvin | PAA

On this episode of Inside Automotive, host Jim Fitzpatrick is joined by John Devlin, President of the Pennsylvania Automotive Association (PAA) to discuss the state of his local car market and how dealers are handling OEM and legal challenges.

While he remains uncertain about the future, Devlin notes that early year sales numbers for Pennsylvania dealers have been abnormally high. “Inventory is getting a little better, but demand still seems to be strong,” he remarks. However, he notes that consumer interest could soften as the year progresses, suggesting the positive trends could be short-lived. The threat of a recession is also weighing on the industry’s mind, although analysts disagree over the likelihood of such an event.

More challenges could lie ahead for dealers nation-wide. Devlin comments that the PAA is closely monitoring multiple OEM initiatives which could impact retailers. “Obviously the Ford Model-E program is something we’re watching,” he explains, adding, “we’re also watching what’s going to happen with Volkswagen and Scout, and what Honda and Sony are planning…” Ford recently announced a restructuring of its divisions, which splits its digital and electric vehicle program (now titled Ford Model-e) from its gas and hybrid focused departments (now called Ford Blue). VW is looking to break into the electric pickup market with its subsidiary Scout Motors. Honda and Sony have been working together closely to bring the high-tech Afeela EV to the U.S. in 2026.

Right to repair laws are another developing issue to which Devlin and the PAA are paying close attention. PAA members, in alliance with other dealer groups, are urging policymakers to take a closer look at how the laws could affect consumers. “Years ago when the first right to repair legislation came out…it really did have something to do with repairing the vehicle,” he notes, adding “…A lot of the legislation that’s been introduced excludes the auto dealers right now. The problematic part we see is that it’s about telematics.” Currently, laws in several states require automakers to make telematics data, including GPS location, tire blowouts, etc. available to drivers and independent groups. This opens up the possibility that bad actors could track a vehicle that is not theirs. Devlin explains that these rules, despite their popularity, present privacy risks to car owners. “You just don’t want to spread all that information out there, and there’s really no need to,” he concludes.

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Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

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