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Bill to amend Illinois Motor Vehicle Franchise Act signed into law

August 28, 2017
SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Aug. 24 signed legislation passed last spring by the state's General Assembly to improve the dealer-manufacturer dynamic.  
Senate Bill 1687 -- and now Public Act 100-0308 -- forbids a manufacturer from forcing a dealer to substantially alter a dealership twice within 10 years. The term "substantially alter" does not include routine maintenance, such as interior painting, that is reasonably necessary to keep a facility in attractive condition.
It also would prohibit manufacturers from forcing a dealer to use a manufacturer-designated vendor for building-improvement materials if the dealer can find substantially similar materials at a lower cost.
The new law also requires a manufacturer to consider local factors in the dealer's market area when evaluating a dealer's sales performance as part of the termination process, and it halts the manufacturer from exercising a right to buy the franchise from a selling dealer unless several steps are taken.
Further, the new law forbids a manufacturer from rescinding sales incentives paid to a dealer whose customer exports a vehicle out of the country, unless the manufacturer can prove that the dealer knew or should have known that the vehicle would be exported.
The legislation had the backing of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association and the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association.