New Colorado Law Protects, Clarifies Dealership Rights

Last Wednesday, Senate Bill 265, which clarifies and re-enforces current auto dealership protections, was signed into law in Colorado.

According to F&I Magazine, the new law will update dealership protections passed in 2009, 2010, and 2011. These protections included limiting manufacturer-mandated renovations as well as giving dealerships the right of first refusal in the case of a manufacturer filing bankruptcy, closing a location, and then opening a new franchise in the area.

The biggest problem that dealerships ran into when reinforcing the new protections was manufacturers claiming that the laws didn’t apply to franchise agreements signed before the law was passed. Dealerships that ran into this problem often didn’t want to cause more trouble with the manufacturer, so they didn’t speak up. Fortunately, a few spoke up including Don Hicks, CEO of Shortline Auto Group, and they prompted the bill’s introduction.

One of the bill’s sponsors Colo. Sen. David Balmer praised Governor Hicklenlooper for signing it into law, stating, “Now Colorado will lead the country in protecting the free-enterprise rights of auto dealers and their car-buying customers.”

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