St. Paul Harley-Davidson sues Motor Co. over foreign, online sales restrictions

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The owners of St. Paul Harley-Davidson have sued The Motor Co., claiming the OEM's restrictions on foreign sales by U.S. dealers and sales through third-party websites are unfair, and undercut dealer profits.

St. Paul Harley-Davidson owner Tom Giannetti alleges in the complaint that new restrictions on PG&A sales “would deprive [St. Paul Harley-Davidson] of literally millions of dollars of annual revenues, thereby jeopardizing its ability to remain in business.” He claims the dealership made $8 million a year in revenue from online and foreign sales from 2008 through 2010.

A Harley-Davidson spokeswoman declined to comment on the specifics of the lawsuit. “We disagree with the dealer's premise,” she told the Chicago Tribune.

According to the lawsuit, the OEM notified U.S. dealers that starting Aug. 1, they would no longer be able to sell Harley-Davidson parts and accessories to any customer outside the United States. The lawsuit said that starting Jan. 1, 2012, U.S. dealers may not sell new parts or accessories on third-party websites. The dealer says that violates his franchise agreement.

The lawsuit is St. Paul Motorsports, Inc., d/b/a St. Paul Harley-Davidson, vs. Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Inc., d/b/a Harley-Davidson Motor Company; No 0:11-cv-03229-PJS-TNL in the United States District Court For The District Of Minnesota Third Division.

Posted by Holly Wagner

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