Senate Gives Final Approval to Tomlinson Bill To Aid Car Dealers in Franchise Arrangements

Harrisburg – The Senate unanimously approved legislation to help automobile dealerships in tough economic times. The legislation sponsored by Senator Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks) would amend the Board of Vehicles Act to change the conditions between new vehicle dealers and manufacturers in a franchise to make it easier to add new lines of vehicles and require manufacturers to buy back more vehicles upon a dealership closing.

Tomlinson, who chairs the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee, said Senate Bill 921 would prohibit unreasonable site expansions on existing dealerships, construction or significant modification of dealer facilities, or construction of a separate facility to showcase a new line of vehicles.

“In today’s economic environment it is important that a car dealership not be required to make improvements that may impose an unreasonable burden.  This change will help dealers to be more competitive and ensure that they do not lose jobs or sales because of unnecessary mandates,” Tomlinson said.

The bill would require the manufacturer to repurchase additional inventory in the event of termination, including current and prior model inventory and the repurchase of dealer trades.  Manufacturers would have to repurchase current “heavy duty trucks” as well as two years’ prior model years inventory.

“The automobile industry has faced many challenges over the past few years and this bill intends to help out those dealerships that are terminated and have new vehicles still on the lot,” stated Tomlinson.

Senate Bill 921 now goes to the Governor for his signature.



Fran Cleaver
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