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International Nameplate Dealers are Under Attack

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Chairman's Blog: Out of the Gates 09/15/21

If you’ve been reading my blogs, e-mails, or op-eds, you know by now: Dealers are under attack.

For months now a federal budget provision has been working its way through committee rooms, both in the Senate and the House of Representatives, which would offer consumers additional tax credits if they purchase an electric vehicle assembled in a union-represented plant. It’s a proposal so ludicrous, so offensive to the majority of American workers, and so at odds with the goal of addressing climate change through EV purchases, that most auto industry insiders have dismissed it out of hand.

Even as we here at AIADA raised the alarm through our grassroots network, we were told again and again that this thing had no legs and would never make it off Capitol Hill. Such a blatant transaction between UAW lobbyists and Democratic politicians had no chance of withstanding even the lightest public scrutiny.

And yet, somehow, the union EV language was never scrapped. Instead, the provision has gained steam, this week passing through the House Ways and Means committee to be included in the Democrats’ $3.5 trillion spending bill. In fact, the latest version of this scheme actually ups the offer for union-built vehicles to $4,500 in tax credits while lowering the tax credit value of American-built vehicles (like the Hondas built in Ohio and the Toyotas built in Indiana and Kentucky).

International brand nameplates assembled in non-union plants make up 55 percent of the United States’ new vehicle market share. Those same non-union plants produced 46 percent of all new cars built in the US last year. It’s no mystery how they do it – our manufacturers sell high quality products at competitive prices. And they offer good jobs to hard working Americans.

So why are our brands and stores being targeted by Congress? Primarily because in the political reality we currently inhabit, the only good American worker is a union worker. Everyone else is expendable. And when I say everyone, I include the 131,000 international nameplate employees in the U.S. and the 542,000 International nameplate dealership employees.

The time has come to fight back. Don’t like the idea of your own tax dollars being used against you? Contact your member of Congress through AIADA’s website and remind them that all American workers matter. Share with them our most recent economic impact report. And most of all, make sure they know you are watching how they vote.

Congress needs to stop playing politics with the lives of American workers and leave the business of car sales to those who know what they’re doing – dealers.

Steve Gates
AIADA Chairman