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Dealer-friendly legislation awaits the pen of Illinois governor

July 14, 2017
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has yet to act on legislation passed by the state’s General Assembly that would improve the dealer-manufacturer dynamic.  
Senate Bill 1687 was sent to Rauner’s desk on June 29. He has 60 calendar days, until Aug. 28, to sign it or to return it with his veto. If he does nothing, the bill will automatically become a law after the 60-day period. 
The legislation 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 bill also would require 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 would halt the manufacturer from exercising a right to buy the franchise from a selling dealer unless several steps are taken.
Further, Senate Bill 1687 would forbid 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 bill is backed by the Chicago Automobile Trade Association and the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association.