Auto Dealer Left His Legacy in New York

Marvin Suskin is remembered as a champion of young people entering the auto-retailing industry and a relentless supporter of dealers and the franchised system.

Steve Finlay, Senior Editor

March 19, 2018

2 Min Read
The late Marvin Suskin described as ldquojust one of those people who is specialrdquo
The late Marvin Suskin described as “just one of those people who is special.”

Marvin Suskin, who died at age 90 on March 11, is remembered as an influential player at the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Assn., an organization he helped make what it is today.

“He was the owner of Scarsdale Ford, but he was really the founder of the modern-day GNYADA,” says association spokesman Nick Crispe. 

Mr. Suskin hired Mark Schienberg in 1985 to run the trade group when it was staffed by three people in two rooms in Brooklyn. It has since grown into one of the nation’s most forceful dealer associations.

Schienberg cites Suskin’s activism, passion and conviction that, as Ronald Reagan noted, “There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

Of the guy who hired him, Schienberg says, “Marvin was a true believer in the importance of getting involved. He never once sat on the sidelines of any issue important to dealers. He believed passionately that everyone has the power to change things as long as they stand up and be counted, and that’s exactly what he did.

“He was a unique individual who accomplished so much, but never took credit for himself. Instead, he championed those around him. He was a charming, graceful man.” 

Mr. Suskin played a major role in snaring support and funding (some of it public, in the name of creating jobs) for the New York dealer association’s Center for Automotive Education and Training to "make sure it didn’t remain 'just a ‘great idea,’” Crispe says.

The $30 million center is a 90,000-sq.-ft. (8,361-sq.-m) facility in Queens. It trains people in dealership work. An original goal of the 12-year-old center was to address the chronic shortage of qualified auto technicians, an issue dealers face nearly everywhere in the U.S.   

“He was a champion of young people entering the industry and a relentless supporter of dealers and the franchised system,” Crispe says. “He was one-of-a-kind, one of those people who is just special.” 

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