Many vehicle dealerships in New Jersey and in some parts of New York are currently assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. According to Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, around 60 percent of their dealers remained without power and were closed Wednesday. Schienberg said that dealerships in Long Island, Brooklyn and Staten Island were hit especially hard by Hurricane Sandy, noting that around 250 of the 435 new-car dealer-members of the association are on Long Island.
In a survey by the association, some dealers reported up to $50,000 in damages. Schienberg said he has yet to hear from dealers expected to have been hit the hardest. Many dealers in the New York City area lack space to store inventory at their dealerships, forcing them to store vehicles on piers – which could mean a gripping inventory loss once all have been counted, Schienberg said, adding that many vehicles stored on Brooklyn piers were damaged.
The president of the association disclosed that at last count, Manhattan Ford lost 200 vehicles stored on a pier while Toyota estimates that 4,000 to 4,500 of its vehicles were destroyed as vehicles were on a pier awaiting delivery to dealerships. Hurricane Sandy has also caused a loss in sales and showroom traffic since, according to Schienberg, the last thing on peoples' minds right now is getting their cars serviced or looking at buying another car.
Hurricane Sandy came at a bad time for dealers who had committed to end-of-the-month sales incentives to increase sales, Schienberg said. He noted that the impact of the storm on the industry is going to be quite severe. Ford CFO Bob Shanks told Bloomberg that up to 800 Ford dealerships were affected by Hurricane Sandy.