Summary of the Introduced Bill

HB 575 -- Motor Vehicle Franchise

Co-Sponsors:  O'Connor, Abel, Foley

This bill makes several changes to the Motor Vehicle Franchise

Protections for relevant market areas for automobile dealers are
provided.  "Relevant market area" is defined as either a six- or
ten-mile radius depending on whether the population of the
county is over or under 100,000.  Dealers can follow an
administrative complaint process when the manufacturer wants to
establish or move another dealership that represents the same
line or make within that market area.  Manufacturers must notify
an existing dealer of their intention to establish a new
dealership within the market area.  An existing dealer within a
market area has 30 days after receipt of notice or the end of an
appeals procedure provided by the franchisor in which the dealer
may bring an action with the Administrative Hearing Commission
to determine whether good cause exists for the relocation.

A hold is put on any franchisor action requiring "good cause"
when the action is protested by a franchisee and the
administrative law judge determines that good cause does not
exist.  The franchisee may, if necessary, seek enforcement of
the decision of the Administrative Hearing Commission.  Appeals
are provided for, and jurisdiction is in Cole County.  Discovery
may be obtained by parties in the same manner as other civil

A franchise cannot be refused or canceled because of the
participation in another product line in the same or a separate
facility.  A franchisee must request consent of a franchisor to
an additional line-make to a dealership facility.  Any decision
of the franchisor in regard to dualing of 2 or more franchises
must be granted or denied within 60 days of written request.  A
franchisor's failure to timely respond to a dualing request will
be deemed to be an approval of the franchisee's request.

The bill prohibits factory-owned dealerships except for a
temporary period when assisting an economically disadvantaged
person buying a dealership or owning a minority interest in an
entity that owns a dealership under certain conditions.

The bill also contains language pertaining to franchisor
obligations to franchisees on preparation, delivery, and
warranty service of its product.

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Missouri House of Representatives
Last Updated September 13, 2001 at 2:02 pm