Virginia General Assembly Passes Franchise Protection Bill

Though the Virginia General Assembly adjourned sine die on February 25, notably without finalizing a budget, there was one significant piece of legislation that Commonwealth lawmakers could agree on: a landmark franchise protection bill.  The Virginia Automobile Dealers Association (VADA), with WANADA’s support, crafted and shepherded HB 1469 to the finish line.  Aimed at curbing OEM attempts to circumvent dealers in a variety of ways, the bill disallows manufacturers from threatening to withhold incentives to compel dealers to enter into agreements. Furthermore, manufacturers will not be allowed to force dealers to allow them to deal directly with buyers and lessees as well. Additionally, the bill says existing state law barring manufacturers from owning a dealership would apply any new makes and lines.  Additional information is available in an Automotive News article on the subject here.

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