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NH Auto Dealers Bill Headed To Governor

Fri, 05/31/2013 - 2:38pm
The Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Legislation was headed to Gov. Maggie Hassan on Thursday that gives New Hampshire auto dealers protections in their dealings with their manufacturers.

Without discussion, the Senate voted to accept changes the House made to the bill. Both chambers passed the bill by overwhelming margins.

The Dealer Bill of Rights would limit mandatory facility upgrades to every 15 years. New Hampshire dealers had complained they currently have no leverage in agreements they sign with manufacturers and have said manufacturers can require them to pay for costly and unnecessary renovations.

The New Hampshire Auto Dealers Association was pleased with the Senate's decision to send the bill to Hassan, who has not said if she will sign it.

"This law ensures that critical decisions about spending and sales are made right here in New Hampshire, not in a corporate conference room in some other state," said association president Pete McNamara.

He said the bill includes a provision ending mandates by manufacturers to use out-of-state products and contractors to do showroom upgrades and ensures proper reimbursement for warranty work done by local dealers.

"For too long there has been a one-way dialogue with manufacturers and it has cost New Hampshire dealers millions of dollars," said Andy Crews, president and chief executive officer of Autofair dealership in Manchester.

The bill also covers farm and construction equipment dealers.

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