Incoming AIADA Chairman Mike DeSilva Fighting for Fairness Amid New EV Tax Credits

First Up 01/23/23

Incoming AIADA Chairman Mike DeSilva Fighting for Fairness Amid New EV Tax Credits

With implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act's electric vehicle tax credits underway, the incoming chairman of AIADA wants to make sure international nameplate dealers are treated fairly. "We don't want to see them picking winners and losers in the market. We want to see them implement it fairly, so everybody has a level playing field," said Mike DeSilva, owner of Liberty Auto Group, a three-store dealership group that sells vehicles from Genesis, Hyundai, Kia, and Subaru. The tax credit for consumers purchasing new EVs sets eligibility restrictions on vehicle sticker price, buyer income, final assembly location and EV battery sourcing, making it harder for some international automakers to meet the requirements in the near term. "The bottom line is everybody wants adoption of EVs," he told Automotive News. "If they're going to pick winners and losers, that just puts the brakes on the whole purpose of the tax credit." DeSilva spoke with Staff Reporter Audrey LaForest to discuss his priorities and outlook for dealers this year. Click here to read the full interview.

For Toyota Dealers, Sales Process Sure Is Familiar

As someone who has been selling new Toyotas for more than 50 years, Steve Gates said he never would have believed that he and his fellow brand dealers could have had as much success as they did last year with so few vehicles in stock. "I was absolutely certain, when this all started, I thought I needed to jump off a bridge because I didn't think that there was any way that we could survive with virtually no inventory," said Gates, dealer principal of Gates Auto Family. Gates is a dealer council veteran but is taking his first spin as a chairman, with the Toyota National Dealer Advisory Council, reports Automotive News. He's also a former chairman of AIADA. "My dad became a Toyota dealer in 1970, and this is the way we sold cars," Gates recalled. "I was selling Toyotas, and we would take reservations with pride, and with a $25 deposit, and then we'd wait for the car to come in. But there were no computers, obviously, so we didn't know when the car was going to arrive, and we really couldn't provide any information…” Click here for the full story.

How to Maximize & Personalize Dealership Marketing in 2023

It’s a new year, but dealerships are faced with ongoing challenges that have spilled over from 2022. With limited inventory and few OEM incentives, dealers need to rethink how they approach their marketing efforts to maximize available opportunities in 2023. December’s monthly projected sales volume of 1.19 million units set a familiar tone for 2022, according to S&P Global Mobility reports. The SAAR reading would be the lowest for a month since May 2022, bringing the full year’s U.S. light vehicle sales total to 13.8 percent, an 8 percent decline from 2021, reports CBT News. Additionally, according to early S&P Global Mobility forecasts, U.S. sales volumes are expected to reach 14.8 million units in 2023, an estimated increase of 7 percent from 2022 “The U.S. auto market is struggling, impacted by supply chain, labor, logistics, inflation and wider economic concerns,” said Chris Hopson, manager, North American light vehicle sales forecast, S&P Global Mobility. To engage new customers and retain their loyalty audience, it’s critical dealers keep their foot on the gas pedal when it comes to marketing efforts. But spray-and-pray marketing simply isn’t effective, so dealers must optimize efforts with a targeted approach. Click here for the full story.

Volkswagen Keeping IPO Option Open for Charging, Energy Business

Volkswagen's energy and charging division is keeping all options open for the long-term structure of the business, including a possible listing, the division's chief Elke Temme said in an interview with Reuters. The division, like all the carmaker's unlisted brands and its battery business PowerCo, is going through the motions of preparing for a listing as a training exercise instituted by Chief Executive Oliver Blume after the carmaker listed sportscar brand Porsche last year. The results of these exercises, which Volkswagen has dubbed 'virtual equity stories', will be presented internally on Thursday with a view to sharing them externally at a capital market day later this year. Temme, a former RWE executive who has led the carmaker's energy business, said electric cars could help stabilize the large price swings in the electricity market by acting as temporary storage for the overcapacity of green electricity on the grid - known as bi-directional charging. But regulators needed to first create a framework to make this economically viable. "It won't take five more years," Temme predicted, adding that Volkswagen's electric vehicles on the MEB platform were equipped for the feature. Click here for the full story.

Audi Defeats Chinese EV Maker in Legal Battle over S6 and S8 Naming Rights

Audi has successfully sued Chinese manufacturer Nio over using the ES 6, ES 7, and ES 8 nameplates on its electric vehicles. The premium automaker alleged that Nio's naming conventions sounded too similar to Audi's models, like the S6 and S8 luxury sport sedans, reports Carbuzz. A Munich regional court agreed, with the First Chamber for Commercial Matters stating that even though Nio's lettering differs from Audi's well-known trademarks, it's not distinctive enough. "Both brands would be mentally connected, at least from a phonetic point of view, which, taking into account the average distinctiveness of the trademark in [the] suit and the existing identity of the goods, would lead to an indirect risk of confusion," the ruling stated. This battle of the brands stretches back to last year when news broke of Audi's intention to take Nio to court. The Ingolstadt-based manufacturer alleged that Nio had overstepped the mark. "The opponent chose model designations for the European market, which, in our opinion, infringes Audi brands," said a representative at the time. Click here for the full story.

AIADA Affinity Partner Happenings at 2023 NADA Convention

AIADA's Member Benefits Program is one of the most valuable services AIADA provides to its members. AIADA partners with best-in-class companies to provide members with exclusive values on the goods and services they need to succeed in a competitive business environment. While you're in Dallas, make sure to check out AIADA's Affinity Partners. Click here for a quick reference guide on where to find them at NADA 2023!


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