Illinois limits OEM influence on dealer sites, fixtures

Publish Date: 
Jan 6, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Illinois dealers gain a little more control over their facilities and displays with a new law that took effect Jan. 1.

Among the law's provisions:

  • It forbids OEMs from requiring their dealers to relocate.
  • It prevents OEMs from requiring dealers to display aftermarket parts separately from OEM-sourced parts, and from requiring dealers to install separate racks or lighting for aftermarket parts.
  • Finally, it allows dealers to purchase store lighting and fixtures from suppliers other than OEM-approved distributors.

“This really just says the OEMs can’t force us to participate in programs or make us move to a location from one that was already approved. So this won’t change the way our dealership does business at all, but looks to be positive for any new entrants,” said Mike Jackson, dealer principal at World of Powersports. “It allows the dealers to shop around for fixtures and building materials rather than being forced to buy them from the OEM’s vendors.”

The bill, amending the Motor Vehicle Franchise Act, sailed through Illinois’ General Assembly in 2013. It passed the state Senate on a 52-5 vote on May 22, and in the House on a 105-12 vote May 28. The governor signed it Aug. 16. It took effect Jan. 1 and applies to retailers of two- and three-wheelers.

Illinois becomes one of few states that forbids OEMs from forcing dealers to move or buy through OEM-approved fixture suppliers. New Hampshire passed an amendment to its Dealer Bill of Rights last year that includes similar provisions.

Read the full text of the Illinois law here. The underlined sections are new.