It seems that every year becomes pivotal within state government for the New York Automobile Dealers Association (NYSADA). 2015 promises to be no exception. Fortunately, the staunch relationships with the leaders of our state’s government that NYSADA has forged should stand our members in good stead.
Again this year, NYSADA’s Board of Directors met with Governor Cuomo, including convening for breakfast at the Executive Mansion. The cooperative working relationship that has evolved between NYSADA and the Governor has resulted in his understanding and appreciation for our industry and the multifarious contributions that franchised dealers provide our state and their communities. This was evidenced when dealers’ efforts to strengthen the Franchised Dealer Act collided with the stout opposition of Tesla Motors. The Governor readily intervened and negotiated a resolution that preserved the integrity of the dealer franchise system.
The resulting Reform Act is an unparalleled victory for franchised dealers. The act not only strengthens the franchise system, it encompasses meaningful protections in the relationship between dealer and factory. For example, a guarantee that franchisors cannot demand substantial renovations to a dealership more than once every ten years.
In addition to its endeavors to affirmatively advocate for its members, NYSADA must be constantly vigilant to the attacks on new car and truck dealers that rear themselves in the form of proposed bills during every legislative session. In 2015, as in the past, NYSADA will carefully review each introduced bill and voice opposition to any that would prove damaging.
In addition to NYSADA’s ongoing lobbying efforts in the Senate and Assembly, NYSADA advocates for dealer interests within state agencies including the Departments of Motor Vehicles, Taxation, Transportation, Financial Services, Labor Environmental Conservation and the Attorney General’s office. Whether the issue is assuring fair compensation for dealers, balance in the franchise relationship or the prevention of unwarranted interference in the sales process, NYSADA is in the forefront representing dealers’ interest. Being located directly across the street from the New York State Capital facilitates NYSADA’s continual advocacy for its members within the halls of government.
In 2015 there will be a new Legislature. The State Senate has been closely divided between the two political parties. For the past two years, there has been a unique arrangement between the Republicans and a handful of Democrats. That arrangement appears to be ending. All these ebbs and flows in power underline the critical need for dealers to be strongly represented in Albany. Ironically, bad legislation is sometimes popular legislation. To combat these perceptions, legislators need to be educated about the automobile industry and the negative impact legislation can impose on it. Built on the strong foundation of our success, NYSADA stands ready to meet the challenge. NYSADA will continue to meet with State government leaders no matter who they may be. NYSADA’s Governmental Affairs Committee, comprised of your fellow dealers, continually reviews the impact that proposed laws and regulations may have on franchised dealers, manufacturers, distributors, lenders and consumers. The Committee is unwavering in striving to improve the interaction between franchised dealers and state government.
NYSADA also has a Political Action Committee and a Gold Club to interract directly with our state’s leaders. The PAC supports those elected officials that demonstrate an understanding of and sympathy for the business needs of new car and truck dealers. The Gold Club takes our PAC efforts one step further by bringing dealers and leaders together for the mutual benefit of our industry. Vigilance, advocacy and political support are the keys to effective representation.