State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title31 > Chapter16

CHAPTER 16 - MOTOR VEHICLE FRANCHISES

 

31-16-101. Definitions.

 

(a) As used in this act:

 

(i) "Coerce" means compelling another to do what heis not otherwise required to do or not to do what he otherwise has a right todo;

 

(ii) "Department" means the department oftransportation;

 

(iii) "Designated family member" means:

 

(A) The spouse, child, grandchild, parent, brother or sister ofthe owner of a new motor vehicle dealership who, in the case of the owner'sdeath, is entitled to inherit the ownership interest in the new motor vehicledealership under the terms of the owner's will or applicable intestate laws;

 

(B) A person who has been nominated by the owner of a new motorvehicle dealership as the successor to the dealership in any written instrumentfiled with the manufacturer; or

 

(C) In the case of an incapacitated owner of a new motorvehicle dealership, the person who has been appointed by a court as the legalrepresentative of the incapacitated owner's property.

 

(iv) "Director" means the director of the department;

 

(v) "Distributor" means a person who has a franchisefrom a manufacturer of vehicles to distribute vehicles in this state, and whoin whole or in part sells or distributes new vehicles to vehicle dealers or whomaintains distributor representatives;

 

(vi) "Distributor branch" means a branch officemaintained by a distributor for the same purposes for which a factory branch ismaintained;

 

(vii) "Distributor representative" means a personengaged as a representative of a distributor or distributor branch for thepurpose of making or promoting the sale of its vehicles or for supervising orcontacting its dealers or prospective dealers;

 

(viii) "Factory branch" means a branch office maintainedby a manufacturer for the sale of vehicles to distributors, for the sale ofvehicles to vehicle dealers or for directing or supervising, in whole or inpart, its representatives;

 

(ix) "Factory representative" means a person engagedas a representative of a manufacturer or by a factory branch for the purpose ofmaking or promoting a sale of its vehicles, or for supervising or contactingits dealers or prospective dealers;

 

(x) "Franchise or dealer's selling agreement", hereinafter referred to as the "sales and services agreement", meansa contract or agreement between a vehicle dealer and a manufacturer or itsdistributor or factory branch by which the dealer is authorized to engage inthe business of selling any specified make of new vehicles;

 

(xi) "Motor vehicle" means a self-propelled vehicle,excluding a motor home and which:

 

(A) Is intended for registration and use on the publichighways; and

 

(B) Has at least three (3) wheels.

 

(xii) "New vehicle" means a motor vehicle which is inthe possession of a manufacturer or has been sold by a manufacturer fordistribution in the United States to the holders of a valid sales and serviceagreement, franchise or contract granted by the manufacturer for sale of thenew motor vehicle and which is in fact new and on which the original motorvehicle title has not been issued from the franchised dealer;

 

(xiii) "Manufacturer" means a person engaged in thebusiness of constructing or assembling vehicles which are subject toregistration in this state and, except where otherwise provided,"manufacturer" means a distributor, a factory branch, distributorbranch or other representative thereof, but excludes any person whose principalbusiness is wholesale and retail financing;

 

(xiv) "Principal place of business" means:

 

(A) For dealers selling fewer than twelve (12) vehicles in anytwelve (12) consecutive month period, a permanent commercial building locatedwithin the state of Wyoming at which the business of a new motor vehicle dealermay be lawfully carried on in accordance with the terms of all applicablebuilding codes, zoning and other land-use regulatory ordinances, and in whichbuilding the public may contact the vehicle dealer or his vehicle salesman atall reasonable times, and at which place of business shall be kept andmaintained the books, records and files necessary to conduct the business. Thebusiness shall be sufficiently identified with an exterior sign permanentlyaffixed to the building or land with letters clearly visible from the highwayfacing the site and designated to indicate the nature of the business and thelandline telephone number of the business. A landline telephone shall berequired in the principal place of business;

 

(B) For dealers selling twelve (12) or more vehicles in anytwelve (12) consecutive month period, a site upon which a permanent building islocated containing adequate facilities to carry on the business of a licenseddealer and used to conduct business as a dealer and not primarily used as, orattached directly to, a residence, with space thereon or contiguous theretoadequate to permit the display of at least five (5) vehicles and sufficientlyidentified with an exterior sign permanently affixed to the building or landwith letters clearly visible from the highway facing the site and designated toindicate the nature of the business. The facilities, sign and space fordisplay shall be in compliance with all applicable zoning ordinances prescribedby the municipality or county in which they are located and in which buildingthe public may contact the vehicle dealer or the dealer's salespersons duringthe declared business hours, and at which place of business shall be kept andmaintained the books, records and files as required by W.S. 31-11-107(a) and(b) necessary to conduct the business. A landline telephone shall be requiredin the principal place of business with a published phone number listed to theprincipal place of business;

 

(xv) "Relevant market area" means that marketing areaas defined by the sales and service agreement granted by the manufacturer,distributor or wholesaler and held by a new vehicle dealer;

 

(xvi) "Used vehicle" means any vehicle other than a newvehicle;

 

(xvii) Repealed By Laws 2001, Ch. 24, 2.

 

(xviii) "Vehicle dealer" or "dealer" means anyperson engaged in the business of selling or exchanging vehicles or who buysand sells, or exchanges retail three (3) or more vehicles or six (6) or morenew vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating over twenty-six thousand(26,000) pounds in any twelve (12) consecutive month period, but does notinclude any insurance company, finance company, public utility company orperson coming into possession of any vehicle as an incident to its regularbusiness who sells that vehicle, or who sells that vehicle under anycontractual rights it may have with respect thereto. Vehicle dealers areclassified as follows:

 

(A) A "new vehicle dealer" means a vehicle dealerthat deals solely in new vehicles or in new and used vehicles. It also includesa person who in the ordinary course of business is engaged in the business ofselling new motor vehicles to consumers or other end users and who holds avalid sales and service agreement, franchise or contract, granted by amanufacturer, distributor or wholesaler for the sale of its motor vehicles;

 

(B) A "used vehicle dealer" means a vehicle dealerthat deals solely in used vehicles;

 

(C) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(xix) "Wholesaler" means a person who sells usedvehicles to Wyoming vehicle dealers;

 

(xx) "This act" means W.S. 31-16-101 through31-16-127;

 

(xxi) "Antique vehicle" means a motor vehicle which isat least twenty-five (25) years old;

 

(xxii) "Established place of business" means each placeactually occupied either continuously or at regular periods by a manufacturerwhere the manufacturer's books and records are kept and a large share of themanufacturer's business is conducted;

 

(xxiii) "Recreational vehicle" means a vehicle designedprimarily as living quarters for recreational, camping, vacation or travel usewhich has an electrical system which operates above twelve (12) volts and has aplumbing and heating system;

 

(xxiv) "Retail vehicle sale" means the lease of avehicle or transfer of title of a vehicle to another person in exchange forvalue but excludes a transfer for the purpose of resale;

 

(xxv) "Vehicle" means as defined in W.S.31-1-101(a)(xxvi);

 

(xxvi) A "Wyoming based manufacturer" means a personwith an established place of business in Wyoming who is engaged in the businessof manufacturing, constructing or assembling new and unused vehicles or theirmajor component parts or both and sells new and unused vehicles to dealers,wholesalers, distributors or the general public. The term includes a factorybranch office of the manufacturer, or any partnership, firm, association, jointventure, corporation or trust which is controlled by the manufacturer;

 

(xxvii) "Agent" means a person other than a holder of anyvehicle dealer's license issued by the department who, for salary, commissionor compensation of any kind, negotiates in any way for the sale, purchase,order or exchange of vehicles;

 

(xxviii) "Applicant" means any person, corporation,limited liability company, limited partnership or any other entity that filesan application with the department for a vehicle dealer's license under thisact;

 

(xxix) "Licensed dealer" means a vehicle dealer that islicensed by the department pursuant to this act as a new vehicle dealer or aused vehicle dealer;

 

(xxx) "Salesperson" means an individual who, forsalary, commission or compensation of any kind, is employed either directly,indirectly, regularly or occasionally by any new vehicle dealer or any usedvehicle dealer to sell, purchase or exchange vehicles.

 

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(xxv) of this section, forpurposes of W.S. 31-16-108 through 31-16-124 "vehicle" means a motorvehicle as defined in paragraph (a)(xi) of this section.

 

31-16-102. Unlicensed vehicle dealers and manufacturers prohibited.

 

Noperson shall hold himself out as being in the business of a retail seller ofvehicles, or act as a retail vehicle dealer or Wyoming based manufacturerwithout a valid license issued by the department under this act. No personshall act as a vehicle dealer of a new vehicle without a valid license as a newvehicle dealer for new vehicles of the same line make issued by the departmentunder this act. No person other than a licensed vehicle dealer shall display avehicle for sale unless the title is in the name of the displayer. No personshall solicit sales of vehicles without a vehicle dealer's license, unless thetitle is in the name of the person soliciting sales.

 

31-16-103. Licenses; applications; issuance, suspension and revocation;change in ownership; rulemaking.

 

(a) An applicant for a license required under this act shall,before commencing business and annually thereafter submit an application to thedepartment in a form prescribed by the department containing the following:

 

(i) The legal name and residence address of the applicant andthe trade name, if any, under which the applicant intends to conduct hisbusiness. If the applicant is a partnership, the name and residence address ofeach partner, whether a limited or general partner, and the name under whichthe partnership business is to be conducted. If the applicant is a corporation,the name of the corporation and the name and address of each of its principalofficers and directors. If the applicant is a limited liability company, thename and address of the members and managers;

 

(ii) A complete description, including the address, of theprincipal place of business and any other place of business for activitiesrequiring a license under this act operated and maintained by the applicant inconjunction with the principal place of business in each county in this state;

 

(iii) For a new vehicle dealer's license, copies of letters offranchise for the new vehicles that the applicant has been enfranchised to sellor exchange and the name and addresses of any manufacturer or distributor whohas enfranchised the applicant;

 

(iv) For a manufacturer's license, the name and address of eachdistributor, factory branch and factory representative;

 

(v) Any other information the department may reasonablyrequire, including financial statements of new applicants, past or presentjudicial, civil or administrative dispositions of criminal, civil oradministrative actions relating to the conduct of the business if currentlylicensed or a new applicant, telephone numbers, sales and use tax numbers forthe business and declared business hours. Any new applicant for a licenseissued under this act, including all officers of a corporation or members of alimited liability company or limited partnership, shall provide informationnecessary for a state and national criminal history record background check andrelease of information as provided in W.S. 7-19-106(k)(ii) and consent to therelease of any criminal history information to the department;

 

(vi) If a renewal of dealer's license, the number of retailvehicle sales each month during the twelve (12) full calendar months precedingthe month in which the renewal application is made;

 

(vii) For a Wyoming based manufacturer's license, a descriptionof the location of each established place of business in this state, the numberof manufacturer license plates requested, a statement of the need for theplates including, but not limited to, the number of employees, annual sales,and such other information as required by the department.

 

(b) Pending determination by the department that the applicanthas met the requirements under this act, it may issue a temporary license toany applicant. A temporary license shall not exceed a period of ninety (90)days while the department is completing its investigation and determination ofall facts relative to the qualifications of the applicant for the license. Thetemporary license terminates when the applicant's license has been issued orrefused. When the department determines the applicant has complied with alllicensing requirements, the department shall issue a license or renewal to anapplicant upon submission of a complete application to the departmentindicating the applicant is qualified and will operate from a principal placeof business if a dealer or from an established place of business if a Wyoming basedmanufacturer, and upon filing of a bond and payment of a license fee oftwenty-five dollars ($25.00) for dealers selling fewer than twelve (12)vehicles in any twelve (12) consecutive month period and one hundred dollars($100.00) for dealers selling twelve (12) or more vehicles in any twelve (12)consecutive month period as follows:

 

(i) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(ii) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(iii) Any additional place of business to be licensed under thisact has sufficient facilities such that it could qualify as a principal placeof business and is located in the same county in which the principal place ofbusiness is located;

 

(iv) To a dealer who had at least twelve (12) retail sales orexchanged at least twelve (12) vehicles or six (6) or more new vehicles with agross vehicle weight rating over twenty-six thousand (26,000) pounds in thetwelve (12) full calendar months preceding the date of application;

 

(v) To a dealer selling self-propelled motor homes or drilling andservice rigs;

 

(vi) To a person who did not hold a certificate at the time ofthe application;

 

(vii) To a person engaged in the business of repossessingvehicles if that person repossessed at least twelve (12) vehicles in the twelve(12) full calendar months preceding the date of application, but the personneed not have a principal place of business as defined in this act;

 

(viii) To a banking or lending institution engaged in the businessof making loans secured by vehicles;

 

(ix) To a person selling antique vehicles and paying the annuallicense fee of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00);

 

(x) To the applicant who has not had alicense issued under this chapter suspended or revoked without reinstatement,and has not violated the provisions of this chapter or any rule or regulationadopted under this chapter, if the applicant is:

 

 

 

(A) A partner in a partnership;

 

(B) A director or stockholder of a corporation duly registeredand doing business in Wyoming; or

 

(C) A member or manager of a limited liability company dulyregistered and doing business in Wyoming.

 

(xi) To any additional place of business that may qualify underthis act.

 

(c) The department may deny, suspend, revoke or refuse to renewa license or temporary permit issued under this act if it finds the person,applicant, vehicle dealer, salesperson, agent or Wyoming based manufacturer:

 

(i) Knowingly violated any rule, regulation or statute or anyfederal law regulating dealers and manufacturers, or any federal vehicle safetystandards applicable to dealers or Wyoming based manufacturers;

 

(ii) Knowingly made a materially false statement in applying fora license, demo plates, full use plates, temporary registration permits, ordealer reassignment documents used by the applicant;

 

(iii) Failed to furnish or keep in force the required bond;

 

(iv) Has any previous administrative or criminal actions or haslost a civil action in this state or any other state relating to the conduct ofthe business license or applied for during the ten (10) years preceding thedate of the application;

 

(v) Used or permitted the use of demo or full use plates in anunauthorized manner or for an unauthorized purpose;

 

(vi) Used or permitted the use of temporary registration permitsin an unauthorized manner or for an unauthorized purpose;

 

(vii) Has been convicted of a felony involving fraud, conspiracyto commit fraud, forgery, embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses,larceny or extortion within the immediate ten (10) year period prior to thedate of license application;

 

(viii) Has been convicted of a felony under W.S. 6-2-302;

 

(ix) Failed to furnish any requested information to thedepartment.

 

(d) If a new vehicle dealer changes to, or adds, anotherfranchise for the sale of new vehicles, cancels or otherwise loses a franchisefor the sale of new vehicles, the dealer shall immediately notify thedepartment. If there is a cancellation or loss of franchise, and thedepartment determines the dealer may be licensed as a used vehicle dealer, thevehicle dealer shall surrender the new vehicle dealer's license and a usedvehicle dealer's license shall be issued. The dealer may continue in thebusiness for which a vehicle dealer is relicensed to dispose of the stock ofnew vehicles which the dealer had on hand at the time of the relicensing.

 

(e) The dealer or manufacturer shall immediately notify thedepartment which shall issue a new dealer or Wyoming based manufacturer licensefor the unexpired portion of the original license at no charge if the dealerchanges the site or location of his principal place of business, or the Wyomingbased manufacturer changes the site or location of his established place ofbusiness.

 

(f) Sixty (60) days after transfer of ownership of a dealershipor the business of a Wyoming based manufacturer, except as a result of transferof shares of stock in a corporate dealership or Wyoming based manufacturer dulyincorporated in Wyoming, the dealer license, Wyoming based manufacturerlicense, demo plates, full use plates, manufacturer plates and temporarypermits are void and shall immediately be delivered to the department. The newowner shall apply for a new dealer license, demo plates, full use plates,manufacturer plates and temporary permits immediately upon transfer ofownership. Upon transfer of ownership or termination of business the formerdealer or Wyoming based manufacturer shall notify the department and, if not atransfer of ownership, immediately deliver the dealer license, Wyoming basedmanufacturer license, demo plates, full use plates, manufacturer plates andtemporary permits to the department.

 

(g) A Wyoming licensed dealer may establish and operate anadditional place of business or operate in an organized motor vehicle show as avehicle dealer if:

 

(i) Each additional place of business except those located inan enclosed shopping mall, shall meet the same criteria as set forth in W.S.31-16-101(a)(xiv);

 

(ii) Before operating in an organized motor vehicle show, alicensed dealer shall notify the department in writing not later than fourteen(14) days prior to the date of the show and obtain a letter of authorizationfrom the department to operate in an organized motor vehicle show within thecounty of the principal place of business, or within the dealer's relevantmarket area as defined by W.S. 31-16-101(a)(xv). A vehicle dealer may operatein not more than four (4) shows in any calendar year and each show shall notexceed seven (7) consecutive days. The letter of authorization to operate in anorganized motor vehicle show shall be displayed in a location at the motorvehicle show where any peace officer or designated member of the department canexamine it. As used in this subsection, "organized motor vehicleshow" means an exhibition and sale by one (1) or more licensed motorvehicle dealers in a private or public assembly, facility or area.

 

(h) An applicant for a license to operate as a dealer orWyoming based manufacturer shall also file with the department a bond in thesum of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) with a corporate surety dulylicensed to do business within this state. The bond shall:

 

(i) Be approved as to form by the attorney general;

 

(ii) Guarantee the return of the dealer or Wyoming basedmanufacturer license, manufacturer plates, full use and demo plates, andtemporary permits; and

 

(iii) Be conditioned that the applicant shall not practice anyfraud, fraudulent misrepresentations, or violate any federal or state law,rules or regulations relating to the conduct of the business.

 

(j) The department shall promulgate rules necessary toimplement and enforce this act, including rules relating to the authorized useof demo, full use or manufacturer plates, the form of the plates and the numberof manufacturer plates issued.

 

(k) If the director has reasonable cause to believe that alicensee or other person has violated or is violating any provision of this actor any other law related to the conduct of a vehicle dealer or has violated oris violating any rule or order adopted or issued by the department pursuant tolaw, in addition to any other remedies existing in this act, the director maybring and maintain, in the name and on behalf of the department, an action inthe proper court against a licensee or other person to restrain or enjoin thelicensee or other person from continuing the violation. In the action, thecourt shall proceed as in other actions for injunction.

 

31-16-104. Classes of licenses and permits; expiration.

 

(a) Licenses issued under this act shall be the followingclasses:

 

(i) New vehicle dealer's license which permits the licensee toengage in the business of selling or exchanging new vehicles or both new andused vehicles;

 

(ii) Motor vehicle manufacturer's license which permits the out-of-statemanufacturer to engage in the business of constructing or assembling motorvehicles of the type subject to registration in this state;

 

(iii) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(iv) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(v) Wyoming based manufacturer's license which permits thelicensee to engage in the manufacturing, constructing or assembling of new andunused vehicles or their major component parts or both in the state of Wyomingand sell new and unused vehicles;

 

(vi) Used vehicle dealer's license which permits the licensee toengage in the business of selling or exchanging used vehicles;

 

(vii) Temporary ninety (90) day vehicle dealer permit allows anapplicant to operate a business under this act for a period of ninety (90) dayswhile the department is completing an investigation for any purpose relative tothe business. The temporary permit terminates when the applicant's license hasbeen issued or refused but in no case shall the temporary permit exceed ninety(90) days;

 

(viii) Temporary recreational vehicle display and sales permitpursuant to W.S. 31-16-127.

 

(b) Repealed by Laws 2005, ch. 159, 2.

 

(c) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(d) Except for temporary vehicle dealer permits and specialrecreational vehicle display and sales permits, licenses issued under this actshall be valid for one (1) year and shall expire at midnight preceding theanniversary date.

 

31-16-105. Display, form and custody of dealer's license.

 

Thedepartment shall prescribe each form of the license. Each dealer shallconspicuously display his own license in his place of business.

 

31-16-106. Required principal place of business.

 

Thedepartment shall not issue a dealer's license to any applicant without aprincipal place of business. If the dealer changes the site or location of hisprincipal place of business, he shall immediately notify the department. A newlicense shall be granted if the new location meets all the requirements of aprincipal place of business. If a dealer ceases to have a principal place ofbusiness he shall immediately surrender his license to the department until thedealer obtains a principal place of business. The dealer's license shall bereissued without charge if a principal place of business is established. Nothingin this act shall be construed to prevent a dealer from conducting the businessfor which he is licensed at one (1) or more licensed supplemental lots orlocations not contiguous but operated and maintained in conjunction with thedealer's principal place of business.

 

31-16-107. Right of action.

 

Anyperson injured because he refuses to agree to a proposal which would be inviolation of this act, may bring an action for damages and equitable relief,including injunctive relief.

 

31-16-108. Unlawful acts.

 

(a) No vehicle dealer or other person required to be licensedunder this act, or any salesperson or agent shall:

 

(i) Knowingly publish or circulate any misleading or inaccurateadvertisement which misrepresents any of the products sold or furnished by alicensed dealer or use any false or misleading advertisement in the conduct ofits business;

 

(ii) Violate this act or any of the rules and regulationspromulgated under it;

 

(iii) Knowingly purchase, sell, acquire or dispose of a stolen vehicle;

 

(iv) Violate any law of this state respecting commerce invehicles or any state agency rule or regulation;

 

(v) Engage in the business for which a dealer is licensedwithout maintaining a principal place of business as required by this act;

 

(vi) Engage in a type of business respecting the sale orexchange of new or new and used vehicles for which he is not licensed;

 

(vii) Knowingly purchase a vehicle which has an altered orremoved vehicle identification number or to alter or remove a vehicleidentification number plate;

 

(viii) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(ix) Violate any provision of the federal motor vehicle safetystandards;

 

(x) Display for sale, exchange or sell any new motor vehiclefor which the vehicle dealer does not hold a valid franchise;

 

(xi) Import, display for sale, exchange, or sell, any newvehicle, or any used vehicle originally sold by a manufacturer for distributionoutside the United States unless the vehicle is in compliance with all federalregulations governing vehicles that were manufactured for distribution outsidethe United States and subsequently imported into the United States. Any dealerrequired to be licensed under this act shall maintain records in his principalplace of business necessary to verify compliance with this provision ifrequested by the department or any law enforcement officer;

 

(xii) Advertise, display, demonstrate, exchange or sell anyvehicle with less than one thousand (1,000) miles on the odometer, unless theperson is a properly licensed dealer, or the person has obtained a validWyoming title in his name or business name and has paid the applicable sales oruse tax on the vehicle in his name before advertising, displaying,demonstrating, exchanging or selling the vehicle.

 

(b) No manufacturer licensed under this act shall require orcoerce or attempt to require or coerce any new vehicle dealer in this state:

 

(i) To order or accept delivery of any new vehicle, vehiclepart or accessory, equipment or any other commodity not required by law whichthe new vehicle dealer has not voluntarily ordered. This paragraph does notmodify or supersede any terms or provisions of the franchise requiring newvehicle dealers to market a representative line of the vehicles covered by thefranchise, to promote the sale, leasing and rental of the vehicles and to carrya reasonable inventory of models offered for sale by the manufacturer;

 

(ii) To order or accept delivery of any new vehicle with specialfeatures, accessories or equipment not included in the list price of thosevehicles as publicly advertised by the manufacturer or distributor unless theyare required by law;

 

(iii) To participate monetarily in an advertising campaign orcontest or to purchase any promotional materials, training materials, showroomor other display decorations or materials at the expense of the new vehicledealer. This paragraph does not modify any provisions of the franchiserequiring the dealer to advertise and promote the sale of vehicles covered by thefranchise and does not apply to campaigns, contests, advertising and otherpromotional programs in which the dealer voluntarily participates;

 

(iv) To enter into any agreement with the manufacturer or toprejudice the new vehicle dealer by threatening to terminate or cancel afranchise or any contractual agreement existing between the dealer and themanufacturer. This paragraph does not preclude the manufacturer or distributorfrom insisting on compliance with the reasonable terms or provisions of thefranchise or other contractual agreement. Notice in good faith from amanufacturer or distributor to any new vehicle dealer of the new vehicledealer's violation of those terms or provisions does not constitute a violationof this act;

 

(v) To change the capital structure of the new vehicle dealeror the new vehicle dealer's financing means if the new vehicle dealer meets anyreasonable capital standards determined by the manufacturer in accordance withuniformly applied criteria. A new vehicle dealer may change its capitalstructure in accordance with reasonable capital standards if the change doesnot change the principal management or ownership in whole or in part or resultin the sale of the franchise. If a change in capital structure results in a saleof the franchise, the manufacturer or distributor may not unreasonably withholdany necessary consent to the change;

 

(vi) To refrain from participation in the management of,investment in or the acquisition of any other line of new vehicle or relatedproducts. This paragraph does not apply unless the new vehicle dealermaintains a reasonable line of credit for each make or line of new vehicle, thenew vehicle dealer remains in compliance with any reasonable facilities andother franchise requirements of the manufacturer and no change is made in theprincipal management of the new vehicle dealer;

 

(vii) To prospectively agree to relieve any person from liabilityimposed by this law or to require any controversy between a new vehicle dealerand a manufacturer, distributor or their representatives, to be referred to anyperson other than the duly constituted courts of the state or the UnitedStates, or to the director if the referral would be binding upon the newvehicle dealer;

 

(viii) To establish, after becoming a new vehicle dealer,exclusive facilities, personnel or display space for a line make when suchrequirements would not be justified by reasonable business considerations;

 

(ix) To expand facilities without making available a sufficientsupply of new vehicles to justify an expansion considering the market andeconomic conditions;

 

(x) To modify significantly an existing dealership or toconstruct a new vehicle dealership facility without a sufficient supply of newvehicles to justify a modification or construction considering the market andeconomic conditions.

 

(c) No manufacturer licensed under this act shall:

 

(i) Delay, refuse or fail to deliver new vehicles or newvehicle parts or accessories in a reasonable time and quantity relative to thenew vehicle dealer's facilities and sales potential in the new vehicle dealer'srelevant market area after acceptance of an order from a new vehicle dealerhaving a franchise for the retail sale of any new vehicle sold or distributedby the manufacturer, any new vehicle, parts or accessories to new vehicles asare covered by the franchise, if the vehicle, parts or accessories are publiclyadvertised as being available for delivery or actually delivered. Failurecaused by acts or causes beyond the control of the manufacturer is not aviolation of this act;

 

(ii) Refuse to disclose to any new vehicle dealer handling thesame line make the manner and mode of distribution of the line make within therelevant market area;

 

(iii) Without the consent of the dealer, obtain money, goods,services or other benefit from a person who does business with the new vehicledealer in relation to the transaction between the new vehicle dealer and theperson other than as compensation for services rendered and products provided,unless the benefit is promptly transmitted or credited to the new vehicledealer;

 

(iv) Increase prices of new vehicles ordered by the new vehicledealer for consumers prior to the new vehicle dealer's receipt of the writtenofficial price increase notification. A sales contract signed by a consumer isevidence of each order if the vehicle is delivered to the customer. In theevent of manufacturer price reductions or cash rebates paid to the new vehicledealer intended by the manufacturer to be passed on to the consumer, the amountof any reduction or rebate received by a new vehicle dealer passes to theprivate retail consumer by the new vehicle dealer. Price reductions apply toall unused, undamaged and unsold vehicles in the dealer's inventory which weresubject to the price reduction. Price differences applicable to a new model orseries are not a price increase or price decrease. Price changes caused by thefollowing are not subject to this paragraph:

 

(A) The addition to a vehicle of required or optional equipmentor a change in the capacity, performance, size, weight or design specificationsof a vehicle;

 

(B) Changes in the rate of exchange of the United Statesdollar, in the case of foreign-made vehicles or components; and

 

(C) An increase in transportation charges due to increasedrates imposed by a carrier.

 

(v) Release to any other party, except under subpoena or asotherwise required by law or in an administrative, judicial or arbitrationproceeding involving the manufacturer or new vehicle dealer, any business,financial, or personal information which is provided by the new vehicle dealerto the manufacturer without the express written consent of the new vehicledealer;

 

(vi) Deny any new vehicle dealer the right of free associationwith any other new vehicle dealer for any lawful purpose;

 

(vii) Unfairly compete with a new vehicle dealer in the same linemake and operating under an agreement or franchise from the manufacturer inthe relevant market area. A manufacturer is not competing when operating adealership either temporarily for a reasonable period or in a bona fide retailoperation which is for sale to any qualified independent person at a fair andreasonable price, or in a bona fide relationship in which an independent personhas made a significant investment subject to loss in the dealership and canreasonably expect to acquire full ownership of such dealership on reasonableterms and conditions;

 

(viii) Unfairly discriminate among its new vehicle dealers withrespect to warranty reimbursement;

 

(ix) Unreasonably withhold consent to the sale, transfer orexchange of the franchise to a qualified buyer capable of being licensed as anew vehicle dealer in this state;

 

(x) Fail to respond in writing to a request for consent asspecified in paragraph (ix) of this subsection within sixty (60) days ofreceipt of a written request. Failure to respond within the time specified isconsent to the request;

 

(xi) Prevent or attempt to prevent any new vehicle dealer fromchanging the executive management control of the new vehicle dealer unless themanufacturer shows the change of executive management will result in executivemanagement or control by a person who is not of good moral character or whodoes not meet reasonable, preexisting and, with consideration given to thevolume of sales and service of the dealership, uniformly applied minimumbusiness experience standards. This paragraph does not prevent a manufactureror distributor from withholding consent based upon the prospective buyer'scharacter, automotive experience, capital and other reasonable qualificationsfor appointment as a dealer, and the effect of the proposed transaction uponcompetition. If the manufacturer rejects a proposed change in executivemanagement control, written notice of his reasons shall be given to the dealerwithin sixty (60) days of notice to the manufacturer by the dealer of theproposed change or the change in the executive management of the new vehicledealer shall be presumptively deemed approved;

 

(xii) Terminate, cancel or fail to renew any franchise solelybecause of the death or incapacity of an owner who is not listed in thefranchise as one on whose expertise and abilities the manufacturer relied ingranting the franchise;

 

(xiii) Prevent or attempt to prevent the new vehicle dealer from receiving the fair market value of the dealership in a sale transaction or fromtransferring the new vehicle dealership to a spouse or legal heir as specifiedin this act;

 

(xiv) Engage in any predatory practice or discrimination againstany new vehicle dealer;

 

(xv) Use any false or misleading advertisement in the conduct ofhis business as a manufacturer or distributor in this state;

 

(xvi) Make any false or misleading statement, either directly orthrough any agent or employee, to induce any new vehicle dealer to enter intoany agreement or franchise.

 

(d) No manufacturer or any officer, agent or representativeshall coerce or attempt to coerce any new vehicle dealer in this state to sell,assign or transfer any retail installment sales contract obtained by the dealerin connection with the sale by him in this state of new vehicles manufacturedor sold by the manufacturer to a specified finance company, class of companiesor to any other specified person.

 

(e) Any statement, threats, promises, acts, contracts or offersof contracts which lessen or eliminate competition or tend to create amonopoly are unfair trade practices, unfair methods of competition and are prohibited.

 

(f) No manufacturer or agent or employee of a manufacturershall use a written instrument, agreement or waiver to attempt to nullify anyof the provisions of this section. Any such agreement, written instrument orwaiver is null and void.

 

(g) No person shall directly or indirectly impose unreasonablerestrictions on the new vehicle dealer relative to the sale, transfer, right torenew, termination, discipline, noncompetition covenants, site control (whetherby sublease, collateral pledge of lease, or otherwise), right of first refusalto purchase, option to purchase, compliance with subjective standards andassertion of legal or equitable rights.

 

(h) This act applies to all written franchise agreementsbetween a manufacturer and a new vehicle dealer, including but not limited to,the franchise offering, the franchise agreement, sales of goods, services oradvertising, promises to pay, security interests, pledges, insurance contracts,advertising contracts, construction or installation contracts, servicingcontracts and all other agreements where the manufacturer has any direct orindirect interest.

 

(j) No motor vehicle manufacturer or distributor licensed underthis act, directly or indirectly, shall offer to sell or sell new motorvehicles to a consumer except through a new vehicle dealer who holds a validsales and service agreement, franchise, or contract granted by themanufacturer, distributor or wholesaler for the sale of its motor vehicles.This subsection shall not apply to sales to affiliates of the manufacturer,distributor or wholesaler, sales to the federal government, charitableorganizations or sales to employees of the manufacturer, distributor orwholesaler.

 

31-16-109. Termination, cancellation or nonrenewal of franchise.

 

 

(a) Notwithstanding the terms, provisions or conditions of anyfranchise or waiver, no manufacturer shall cancel, terminate or fail to renewany franchise with a licensee unless the manufacturer has satisfied the noticerequirement of subsection (b) of this section and has good cause forcancellation, termination or nonrenewal.

 

(b) Prior to the termination, cancellation or nonrenewal of anyfranchise, the manufacturer shall furnish notification of termination,cancellation or nonrenewal to the department and the licensee:

 

(i) Not less than ninety (90) days prior to the effective dateof the termination, cancellation or nonrenewal;

 

(ii) Not less than fifteen (15) days prior to the effective dateof the termination, cancellation or nonrenewal with respect to any of thefollowing which shall constitute good cause for cancellation, termination ornonrenewal:

 

(A) Insolvency of the licensee, or filing of any petition by oragainst the licensee under any bankruptcy or receivership law;

 

(B) Failure of the licensee to conduct sales and serviceoperations during customary business hours for seven (7) consecutive businessdays, except for acts of God or circumstances beyond the direct control of thelicensee;

 

(C) Conviction of the dealer, or any owner or principal managerof the dealer in a court of original jurisdiction of a felony or any crimeinvolving theft, dishonesty or false statement;

 

(D) Revocation of any license which the licensee is required tohave to operate a dealership;

 

(E) A fraudulent misrepresentation by the new motor vehicledealer to the manufacturer, which is material to the franchise; or

 

(iii) Not less than one hundred eighty (180) days prior to theeffective date of the termination or cancellation, where the manufacturer isdiscontinuing the sale of the product line.

 

(c) Notification under this section shall be in writing, bycertified mail or personally delivered to the licensee and shall state theintention to terminate, cancel or not to renew the franchise, reasons for thetermination, cancellation or nonrenewal and the date on which the termination,cancellation or nonrenewal takes effect.

 

(d) Good cause for termination, cancellation or nonrenewal of afranchise shall include but not be limited to:

 

(i) Failure by the licensee to comply with a provision of thefranchise, which is both reasonable and of material significance to thefranchise relationship, provided that the dealer has been notified in writingof the failure within one hundred eighty (180) days prior to termination,cancellation or nonrenewal;

 

(ii) Failure of the licensee to comply with reasonableperformance criteria established by the manufacturer if the licensee wasapprised by the manufacturer in writing of the failure and:

 

(A) The notification stated that notice was provided of failureof performance pursuant to this section;

 

(B) The licensee was afforded a reasonable opportunity, for aperiod of not less than six (6) months, to comply with the criteria; and

 

(C) The licensee did not demonstrate substantial compliancewith the performance criteria of the manufacturer during such period.

 

(e) Within twenty (20) days of receiving the notice or withintwenty (20) days after the end of any appeal procedure provided by themanufacturer, the dealer may file with the department to protest thetermination, cancellation or nonrenewal. When a protest is filed, thedepartment shall inform the manufacturer that a timely protest has been filed.The manufacturer shall have twenty (20) days to respond to the protest. Themanufacturer shall not terminate, cancel or nonrenew the franchise until thedepartment has held a hearing and determined that there is good cause forpermitting the termination, cancellation or nonrenewal.

 

(f) The department will select a hearing examiner to conduct ahearing and to render proposed findings of fact. The proposed findings of factshall be conclusive unless clearly erroneous and unsupported by the record. The hearing shall be conducted and the department shall render its finaldetermination within one hundred twenty (120) days after the manufacturerresponds to the licensee's protest. The department may forbid the termination,cancellation or nonrenewal of the franchise if it is determined good cause doesnot exist.

 

(g) All costs of the department, including but not limited to,the cost of the investigation, the cost of the hearing examiner and the cost ofpreparing the record, shall be borne equally by the parties. The departmentmay, in its discretion, award costs to the prevailing party in any hearing heldpursuant to this chapter provided, however, if the department should determineby a preponderance of the evidence, that the protest is without merit, it shallaward costs and reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party.

 

(h) The manufacturer shall have the burden of proof under thissection.

 

(j) Upon the termination, nonrenewal or cancellation of anyfranchise by the manufacturer pursuant to this section, the licensee shall beallowed fair and reasonable compensation by the manufacturer for the:

 

(i) New vehicle inventory which is unused, undamaged, unsoldand acquired from the manufacturer within the prior twelve (12) months andprior to the dealer receiving notice of termination;

 

(ii) Supplies and parts which are unused, undamaged, unsold andin original packaging and have been acquired from the manufacturer prior to thedealer receiving notice of termination and are listed in the manufacturer'scurrent parts catalog or price list;

 

(iii) Equipment and furnishings purchased from the manufactureror its approved sources in order to comply with the dealer's obligations underthe franchise; and

 

(iv) Special tools acquired from the manufacturer or a sourceapproved by the manufacturer which were recommended by the manufacturer inwriting and are in good and usable condition, except for reasonable wear andtear.

 

(k) Fair and reasonable compensation under subsection (j) ofthis section shall be paid or credited by the manufacturer within ninety (90)days of the tender of the property, provided the licensee has clear title tothe inventory and other items and is in a position to convey that title to themanufacturer.

 

(m) In the event of a termination, cancellation or nonrenewalby the manufacturer under this section, except as provided in subparagraph(b)(ii)(C) of this section, the manufacturer shall pay:

 

(i) A sum equivalent to rent of the unexpired term of the leaseor one (1) year rent based upon reasonable rental value, whichever is less, ifthe motor vehicle dealer is leasing its motor vehicle dealership facility froma lessor other than manufacturers or distributors; or

 

(ii) A sum equivalent to reasonable rental value of thedealership facility for one (1) year or the reasonable rental value of thefacility until facilities are leased or sold, whichever is less, if the motorvehicle dealer owns the motor vehicle dealer facility.

 

(n) The rental payment required under subsection (m) of thissection is only required to the extent that the facilities were used for thesale and service of the manufacturer's or distributor's product, and only tothe extent they are not leased for other purposes. Payment under subsection(k) of this section entitles the manufacturer or distributor to possession anduse of the facility.

 

(o) This section shall not relieve a new motor vehicle dealer,lessor or other owner of an established place of business from the obligationto mitigate damages.

 

31-16-110. Succession to franchise ownership.

 

 

(a) Notwithstanding the terms, provisions or conditions of anyfranchise:

 

(i) Any owner or a licensee may appoint by will, or any otherwritten instrument, a designated family member to succeed in the ownershipinterest of the owner in the new vehicle dealer;

 

(ii) Unless there exists good cause for refusal to honorsuccession by the manufacturer, any designated family member of a deceased orincapacitated owner of a new vehicle dealer may succeed to the ownership of thenew vehicle dealer under the existing franchise if:

 

(A) The designated family member gives the manufacturer writtennotice of intent to succeed to the ownership of the new vehicle dealer withinthirty (30) days of the owner's death or incapacity; and

 

(B) The designated family member agrees to be bound by all theterms and conditions of the franchise.

 

(iii) The manufacturer may request and the designated familymember shall promptly provide personal and financial data reasonably necessaryto determine whether the succession should be honored;

 

(iv) If a manufacturer believes good cause exists for refusingto honor the succession to the ownership of a new vehicle dealer by a familymember of a deceased or incapacitated owner of a new vehicle dealer under theexisting franchise agreement, the manufacturer may serve upon the designatedfamily member and the department notice of its refusal to honor the successionand of its intent to discontinue the existing franchise with the dealer nosooner than sixty (60) days from the date the notice is served. The notice mayonly be served not more than sixty (60) days following receipt of:

 

(A) Notice of the designated family member's intent to succeedto the ownership of the new vehicle dealer; or

 

(B) Any personal or financial data which it has requested.

 

(v) The notice in paragraph (iv) of this subsection shall statethe specific grounds for the refusal to honor the succession and of its intentto discontinue the existing franchise with the new vehicle dealer no soonerthan sixty (60) days from the date the notice is served;

 

(vi) If notice of refusal and discontinuance is not timelyserved upon the family member, the franchise shall continue in effect subjectto termination only as otherwise permitted under this act;

 

(vii) Within twenty (20) days of receiving the notice after theend of any appeal procedure provided by the manufacturer, the designated familymember may file with the department to protest the refusal to honor thesuccessor. When such a protest is filed, the department shall inform themanufacturer that a timely protest has been filed and the manufacturer hassixty (60) days to respond to the protest after actually being informed by thedepartment of the protest. The manufacturer shall not terminate or discontinuethe existing franchise until the department has held a hearing under theWyoming Administrative Procedure Act and determined that there is good causefor not permitting the succession. All hearing costs shall be borne asprescribed under W.S. 31-16-109(g);

 

(viii) In determining whether good cause for the refusal to honorthe succession exists, the manufacturer or importer has the burden of proof;

 

(ix) This act does not preclude the owner of a new vehicledealer from designating any person as his successor by written instrument filedwith the manufacturer. If there is a conflict between the written instrumentand this section and the written instrument has not been revoked by the ownerof the new dealer in writing to the manufacturer the written instrument shallgovern;

 

(x) As used in this section, "manufacturer" includesa manufacturer, a distributor, a factory branch, distributor branch or otherrepresentative.

 

31-16-111. Limitations on establishing or relocating new vehicledealers.

 

 

(a) If a manufacturer seeks to enter into a franchiseestablishing an additional new vehicle dealer or relocating an existing newvehicle dealer within a radius of ten (10) miles from where the same line makeis then represented the manufacturer shall in writing notify the department andeach new vehicle dealer in that line make within a ten (10) mile radius of theintention to establish an additional dealer or to relocate an existing dealerwithin the ten (10) mile radius. Within twenty (20) days of receiving the noticeor within twenty (20) days after the end of any appeal procedure provided bythe manufacturer, any new vehicle dealer notified may file with the departmentto protest the establishing or relocating of the new vehicle dealer. When aprotest is filed, the department shall inform the manufacturer that a timelyprotest has been filed, and the manufacturer has forty-five (45) days torespond to the protest. The manufacturer shall not establish or relocate theproposed new vehicle dealer until the department has held a hearing under theWyoming Administrative Procedure Act, nor thereafter, if the department hasdetermined that there is good cause for not permitting the addition orrelocation of the new vehicle dealer which determination shall be made within sixty(60) days of receipt by the department of the response to the protest from themanufacturer. All hearing costs shall be borne as prescribed in W.S.31-16-109(g).

 

(b) This section does not apply:

 

(i) To the relocation of an existing new vehicle dealer withinthat dealer's relevant market area, provided that the relocation not be at asite within seven (7) miles of a new vehicle dealer for the same line make ofvehicle;

 

(ii) If the proposed new vehicle dealer is to be established ator within two (2) miles of a location at which a former new vehicle dealer forthe same line make had ceased operating within the previous two (2) years;

 

(iii) To the reopening of a new vehicle dealer who temporarilyhas been out of business;

 

(iv) If the protesting new vehicle dealer has not established tothe department that he:

 

(A) Is a licensed new motor vehicle dealer of the same linemake located within ten (10) miles of the proposed location of the additionalnew vehicle dealer or of the proposed relocation site of an existing newvehicle dealer;

 

(B) Is providing facilities, equipment, parts, capital andpersonnel in substantial compliance with its contractual obligations to themanufacturer; and

 

(C) Has attained in the last three (3) years sales penetrationfor the manufacturer in his area of responsibility that is equal to or greaterthan the average penetration of all same line make new vehicle dealers in thestate; or

 

(v) Where the relocation is two (2) miles or less from theexisting location of the relocating new vehicle dealer.

 

(c) In determining whether good cause has been established fornot ent

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title31 > Chapter16

CHAPTER 16 - MOTOR VEHICLE FRANCHISES

 

31-16-101. Definitions.

 

(a) As used in this act:

 

(i) "Coerce" means compelling another to do what heis not otherwise required to do or not to do what he otherwise has a right todo;

 

(ii) "Department" means the department oftransportation;

 

(iii) "Designated family member" means:

 

(A) The spouse, child, grandchild, parent, brother or sister ofthe owner of a new motor vehicle dealership who, in the case of the owner'sdeath, is entitled to inherit the ownership interest in the new motor vehicledealership under the terms of the owner's will or applicable intestate laws;

 

(B) A person who has been nominated by the owner of a new motorvehicle dealership as the successor to the dealership in any written instrumentfiled with the manufacturer; or

 

(C) In the case of an incapacitated owner of a new motorvehicle dealership, the person who has been appointed by a court as the legalrepresentative of the incapacitated owner's property.

 

(iv) "Director" means the director of the department;

 

(v) "Distributor" means a person who has a franchisefrom a manufacturer of vehicles to distribute vehicles in this state, and whoin whole or in part sells or distributes new vehicles to vehicle dealers or whomaintains distributor representatives;

 

(vi) "Distributor branch" means a branch officemaintained by a distributor for the same purposes for which a factory branch ismaintained;

 

(vii) "Distributor representative" means a personengaged as a representative of a distributor or distributor branch for thepurpose of making or promoting the sale of its vehicles or for supervising orcontacting its dealers or prospective dealers;

 

(viii) "Factory branch" means a branch office maintainedby a manufacturer for the sale of vehicles to distributors, for the sale ofvehicles to vehicle dealers or for directing or supervising, in whole or inpart, its representatives;

 

(ix) "Factory representative" means a person engagedas a representative of a manufacturer or by a factory branch for the purpose ofmaking or promoting a sale of its vehicles, or for supervising or contactingits dealers or prospective dealers;

 

(x) "Franchise or dealer's selling agreement", hereinafter referred to as the "sales and services agreement", meansa contract or agreement between a vehicle dealer and a manufacturer or itsdistributor or factory branch by which the dealer is authorized to engage inthe business of selling any specified make of new vehicles;

 

(xi) "Motor vehicle" means a self-propelled vehicle,excluding a motor home and which:

 

(A) Is intended for registration and use on the publichighways; and

 

(B) Has at least three (3) wheels.

 

(xii) "New vehicle" means a motor vehicle which is inthe possession of a manufacturer or has been sold by a manufacturer fordistribution in the United States to the holders of a valid sales and serviceagreement, franchise or contract granted by the manufacturer for sale of thenew motor vehicle and which is in fact new and on which the original motorvehicle title has not been issued from the franchised dealer;

 

(xiii) "Manufacturer" means a person engaged in thebusiness of constructing or assembling vehicles which are subject toregistration in this state and, except where otherwise provided,"manufacturer" means a distributor, a factory branch, distributorbranch or other representative thereof, but excludes any person whose principalbusiness is wholesale and retail financing;

 

(xiv) "Principal place of business" means:

 

(A) For dealers selling fewer than twelve (12) vehicles in anytwelve (12) consecutive month period, a permanent commercial building locatedwithin the state of Wyoming at which the business of a new motor vehicle dealermay be lawfully carried on in accordance with the terms of all applicablebuilding codes, zoning and other land-use regulatory ordinances, and in whichbuilding the public may contact the vehicle dealer or his vehicle salesman atall reasonable times, and at which place of business shall be kept andmaintained the books, records and files necessary to conduct the business. Thebusiness shall be sufficiently identified with an exterior sign permanentlyaffixed to the building or land with letters clearly visible from the highwayfacing the site and designated to indicate the nature of the business and thelandline telephone number of the business. A landline telephone shall berequired in the principal place of business;

 

(B) For dealers selling twelve (12) or more vehicles in anytwelve (12) consecutive month period, a site upon which a permanent building islocated containing adequate facilities to carry on the business of a licenseddealer and used to conduct business as a dealer and not primarily used as, orattached directly to, a residence, with space thereon or contiguous theretoadequate to permit the display of at least five (5) vehicles and sufficientlyidentified with an exterior sign permanently affixed to the building or landwith letters clearly visible from the highway facing the site and designated toindicate the nature of the business. The facilities, sign and space fordisplay shall be in compliance with all applicable zoning ordinances prescribedby the municipality or county in which they are located and in which buildingthe public may contact the vehicle dealer or the dealer's salespersons duringthe declared business hours, and at which place of business shall be kept andmaintained the books, records and files as required by W.S. 31-11-107(a) and(b) necessary to conduct the business. A landline telephone shall be requiredin the principal place of business with a published phone number listed to theprincipal place of business;

 

(xv) "Relevant market area" means that marketing areaas defined by the sales and service agreement granted by the manufacturer,distributor or wholesaler and held by a new vehicle dealer;

 

(xvi) "Used vehicle" means any vehicle other than a newvehicle;

 

(xvii) Repealed By Laws 2001, Ch. 24, 2.

 

(xviii) "Vehicle dealer" or "dealer" means anyperson engaged in the business of selling or exchanging vehicles or who buysand sells, or exchanges retail three (3) or more vehicles or six (6) or morenew vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating over twenty-six thousand(26,000) pounds in any twelve (12) consecutive month period, but does notinclude any insurance company, finance company, public utility company orperson coming into possession of any vehicle as an incident to its regularbusiness who sells that vehicle, or who sells that vehicle under anycontractual rights it may have with respect thereto. Vehicle dealers areclassified as follows:

 

(A) A "new vehicle dealer" means a vehicle dealerthat deals solely in new vehicles or in new and used vehicles. It also includesa person who in the ordinary course of business is engaged in the business ofselling new motor vehicles to consumers or other end users and who holds avalid sales and service agreement, franchise or contract, granted by amanufacturer, distributor or wholesaler for the sale of its motor vehicles;

 

(B) A "used vehicle dealer" means a vehicle dealerthat deals solely in used vehicles;

 

(C) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(xix) "Wholesaler" means a person who sells usedvehicles to Wyoming vehicle dealers;

 

(xx) "This act" means W.S. 31-16-101 through31-16-127;

 

(xxi) "Antique vehicle" means a motor vehicle which isat least twenty-five (25) years old;

 

(xxii) "Established place of business" means each placeactually occupied either continuously or at regular periods by a manufacturerwhere the manufacturer's books and records are kept and a large share of themanufacturer's business is conducted;

 

(xxiii) "Recreational vehicle" means a vehicle designedprimarily as living quarters for recreational, camping, vacation or travel usewhich has an electrical system which operates above twelve (12) volts and has aplumbing and heating system;

 

(xxiv) "Retail vehicle sale" means the lease of avehicle or transfer of title of a vehicle to another person in exchange forvalue but excludes a transfer for the purpose of resale;

 

(xxv) "Vehicle" means as defined in W.S.31-1-101(a)(xxvi);

 

(xxvi) A "Wyoming based manufacturer" means a personwith an established place of business in Wyoming who is engaged in the businessof manufacturing, constructing or assembling new and unused vehicles or theirmajor component parts or both and sells new and unused vehicles to dealers,wholesalers, distributors or the general public. The term includes a factorybranch office of the manufacturer, or any partnership, firm, association, jointventure, corporation or trust which is controlled by the manufacturer;

 

(xxvii) "Agent" means a person other than a holder of anyvehicle dealer's license issued by the department who, for salary, commissionor compensation of any kind, negotiates in any way for the sale, purchase,order or exchange of vehicles;

 

(xxviii) "Applicant" means any person, corporation,limited liability company, limited partnership or any other entity that filesan application with the department for a vehicle dealer's license under thisact;

 

(xxix) "Licensed dealer" means a vehicle dealer that islicensed by the department pursuant to this act as a new vehicle dealer or aused vehicle dealer;

 

(xxx) "Salesperson" means an individual who, forsalary, commission or compensation of any kind, is employed either directly,indirectly, regularly or occasionally by any new vehicle dealer or any usedvehicle dealer to sell, purchase or exchange vehicles.

 

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(xxv) of this section, forpurposes of W.S. 31-16-108 through 31-16-124 "vehicle" means a motorvehicle as defined in paragraph (a)(xi) of this section.

 

31-16-102. Unlicensed vehicle dealers and manufacturers prohibited.

 

Noperson shall hold himself out as being in the business of a retail seller ofvehicles, or act as a retail vehicle dealer or Wyoming based manufacturerwithout a valid license issued by the department under this act. No personshall act as a vehicle dealer of a new vehicle without a valid license as a newvehicle dealer for new vehicles of the same line make issued by the departmentunder this act. No person other than a licensed vehicle dealer shall display avehicle for sale unless the title is in the name of the displayer. No personshall solicit sales of vehicles without a vehicle dealer's license, unless thetitle is in the name of the person soliciting sales.

 

31-16-103. Licenses; applications; issuance, suspension and revocation;change in ownership; rulemaking.

 

(a) An applicant for a license required under this act shall,before commencing business and annually thereafter submit an application to thedepartment in a form prescribed by the department containing the following:

 

(i) The legal name and residence address of the applicant andthe trade name, if any, under which the applicant intends to conduct hisbusiness. If the applicant is a partnership, the name and residence address ofeach partner, whether a limited or general partner, and the name under whichthe partnership business is to be conducted. If the applicant is a corporation,the name of the corporation and the name and address of each of its principalofficers and directors. If the applicant is a limited liability company, thename and address of the members and managers;

 

(ii) A complete description, including the address, of theprincipal place of business and any other place of business for activitiesrequiring a license under this act operated and maintained by the applicant inconjunction with the principal place of business in each county in this state;

 

(iii) For a new vehicle dealer's license, copies of letters offranchise for the new vehicles that the applicant has been enfranchised to sellor exchange and the name and addresses of any manufacturer or distributor whohas enfranchised the applicant;

 

(iv) For a manufacturer's license, the name and address of eachdistributor, factory branch and factory representative;

 

(v) Any other information the department may reasonablyrequire, including financial statements of new applicants, past or presentjudicial, civil or administrative dispositions of criminal, civil oradministrative actions relating to the conduct of the business if currentlylicensed or a new applicant, telephone numbers, sales and use tax numbers forthe business and declared business hours. Any new applicant for a licenseissued under this act, including all officers of a corporation or members of alimited liability company or limited partnership, shall provide informationnecessary for a state and national criminal history record background check andrelease of information as provided in W.S. 7-19-106(k)(ii) and consent to therelease of any criminal history information to the department;

 

(vi) If a renewal of dealer's license, the number of retailvehicle sales each month during the twelve (12) full calendar months precedingthe month in which the renewal application is made;

 

(vii) For a Wyoming based manufacturer's license, a descriptionof the location of each established place of business in this state, the numberof manufacturer license plates requested, a statement of the need for theplates including, but not limited to, the number of employees, annual sales,and such other information as required by the department.

 

(b) Pending determination by the department that the applicanthas met the requirements under this act, it may issue a temporary license toany applicant. A temporary license shall not exceed a period of ninety (90)days while the department is completing its investigation and determination ofall facts relative to the qualifications of the applicant for the license. Thetemporary license terminates when the applicant's license has been issued orrefused. When the department determines the applicant has complied with alllicensing requirements, the department shall issue a license or renewal to anapplicant upon submission of a complete application to the departmentindicating the applicant is qualified and will operate from a principal placeof business if a dealer or from an established place of business if a Wyoming basedmanufacturer, and upon filing of a bond and payment of a license fee oftwenty-five dollars ($25.00) for dealers selling fewer than twelve (12)vehicles in any twelve (12) consecutive month period and one hundred dollars($100.00) for dealers selling twelve (12) or more vehicles in any twelve (12)consecutive month period as follows:

 

(i) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(ii) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(iii) Any additional place of business to be licensed under thisact has sufficient facilities such that it could qualify as a principal placeof business and is located in the same county in which the principal place ofbusiness is located;

 

(iv) To a dealer who had at least twelve (12) retail sales orexchanged at least twelve (12) vehicles or six (6) or more new vehicles with agross vehicle weight rating over twenty-six thousand (26,000) pounds in thetwelve (12) full calendar months preceding the date of application;

 

(v) To a dealer selling self-propelled motor homes or drilling andservice rigs;

 

(vi) To a person who did not hold a certificate at the time ofthe application;

 

(vii) To a person engaged in the business of repossessingvehicles if that person repossessed at least twelve (12) vehicles in the twelve(12) full calendar months preceding the date of application, but the personneed not have a principal place of business as defined in this act;

 

(viii) To a banking or lending institution engaged in the businessof making loans secured by vehicles;

 

(ix) To a person selling antique vehicles and paying the annuallicense fee of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00);

 

(x) To the applicant who has not had alicense issued under this chapter suspended or revoked without reinstatement,and has not violated the provisions of this chapter or any rule or regulationadopted under this chapter, if the applicant is:

 

 

 

(A) A partner in a partnership;

 

(B) A director or stockholder of a corporation duly registeredand doing business in Wyoming; or

 

(C) A member or manager of a limited liability company dulyregistered and doing business in Wyoming.

 

(xi) To any additional place of business that may qualify underthis act.

 

(c) The department may deny, suspend, revoke or refuse to renewa license or temporary permit issued under this act if it finds the person,applicant, vehicle dealer, salesperson, agent or Wyoming based manufacturer:

 

(i) Knowingly violated any rule, regulation or statute or anyfederal law regulating dealers and manufacturers, or any federal vehicle safetystandards applicable to dealers or Wyoming based manufacturers;

 

(ii) Knowingly made a materially false statement in applying fora license, demo plates, full use plates, temporary registration permits, ordealer reassignment documents used by the applicant;

 

(iii) Failed to furnish or keep in force the required bond;

 

(iv) Has any previous administrative or criminal actions or haslost a civil action in this state or any other state relating to the conduct ofthe business license or applied for during the ten (10) years preceding thedate of the application;

 

(v) Used or permitted the use of demo or full use plates in anunauthorized manner or for an unauthorized purpose;

 

(vi) Used or permitted the use of temporary registration permitsin an unauthorized manner or for an unauthorized purpose;

 

(vii) Has been convicted of a felony involving fraud, conspiracyto commit fraud, forgery, embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses,larceny or extortion within the immediate ten (10) year period prior to thedate of license application;

 

(viii) Has been convicted of a felony under W.S. 6-2-302;

 

(ix) Failed to furnish any requested information to thedepartment.

 

(d) If a new vehicle dealer changes to, or adds, anotherfranchise for the sale of new vehicles, cancels or otherwise loses a franchisefor the sale of new vehicles, the dealer shall immediately notify thedepartment. If there is a cancellation or loss of franchise, and thedepartment determines the dealer may be licensed as a used vehicle dealer, thevehicle dealer shall surrender the new vehicle dealer's license and a usedvehicle dealer's license shall be issued. The dealer may continue in thebusiness for which a vehicle dealer is relicensed to dispose of the stock ofnew vehicles which the dealer had on hand at the time of the relicensing.

 

(e) The dealer or manufacturer shall immediately notify thedepartment which shall issue a new dealer or Wyoming based manufacturer licensefor the unexpired portion of the original license at no charge if the dealerchanges the site or location of his principal place of business, or the Wyomingbased manufacturer changes the site or location of his established place ofbusiness.

 

(f) Sixty (60) days after transfer of ownership of a dealershipor the business of a Wyoming based manufacturer, except as a result of transferof shares of stock in a corporate dealership or Wyoming based manufacturer dulyincorporated in Wyoming, the dealer license, Wyoming based manufacturerlicense, demo plates, full use plates, manufacturer plates and temporarypermits are void and shall immediately be delivered to the department. The newowner shall apply for a new dealer license, demo plates, full use plates,manufacturer plates and temporary permits immediately upon transfer ofownership. Upon transfer of ownership or termination of business the formerdealer or Wyoming based manufacturer shall notify the department and, if not atransfer of ownership, immediately deliver the dealer license, Wyoming basedmanufacturer license, demo plates, full use plates, manufacturer plates andtemporary permits to the department.

 

(g) A Wyoming licensed dealer may establish and operate anadditional place of business or operate in an organized motor vehicle show as avehicle dealer if:

 

(i) Each additional place of business except those located inan enclosed shopping mall, shall meet the same criteria as set forth in W.S.31-16-101(a)(xiv);

 

(ii) Before operating in an organized motor vehicle show, alicensed dealer shall notify the department in writing not later than fourteen(14) days prior to the date of the show and obtain a letter of authorizationfrom the department to operate in an organized motor vehicle show within thecounty of the principal place of business, or within the dealer's relevantmarket area as defined by W.S. 31-16-101(a)(xv). A vehicle dealer may operatein not more than four (4) shows in any calendar year and each show shall notexceed seven (7) consecutive days. The letter of authorization to operate in anorganized motor vehicle show shall be displayed in a location at the motorvehicle show where any peace officer or designated member of the department canexamine it. As used in this subsection, "organized motor vehicleshow" means an exhibition and sale by one (1) or more licensed motorvehicle dealers in a private or public assembly, facility or area.

 

(h) An applicant for a license to operate as a dealer orWyoming based manufacturer shall also file with the department a bond in thesum of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) with a corporate surety dulylicensed to do business within this state. The bond shall:

 

(i) Be approved as to form by the attorney general;

 

(ii) Guarantee the return of the dealer or Wyoming basedmanufacturer license, manufacturer plates, full use and demo plates, andtemporary permits; and

 

(iii) Be conditioned that the applicant shall not practice anyfraud, fraudulent misrepresentations, or violate any federal or state law,rules or regulations relating to the conduct of the business.

 

(j) The department shall promulgate rules necessary toimplement and enforce this act, including rules relating to the authorized useof demo, full use or manufacturer plates, the form of the plates and the numberof manufacturer plates issued.

 

(k) If the director has reasonable cause to believe that alicensee or other person has violated or is violating any provision of this actor any other law related to the conduct of a vehicle dealer or has violated oris violating any rule or order adopted or issued by the department pursuant tolaw, in addition to any other remedies existing in this act, the director maybring and maintain, in the name and on behalf of the department, an action inthe proper court against a licensee or other person to restrain or enjoin thelicensee or other person from continuing the violation. In the action, thecourt shall proceed as in other actions for injunction.

 

31-16-104. Classes of licenses and permits; expiration.

 

(a) Licenses issued under this act shall be the followingclasses:

 

(i) New vehicle dealer's license which permits the licensee toengage in the business of selling or exchanging new vehicles or both new andused vehicles;

 

(ii) Motor vehicle manufacturer's license which permits the out-of-statemanufacturer to engage in the business of constructing or assembling motorvehicles of the type subject to registration in this state;

 

(iii) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(iv) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(v) Wyoming based manufacturer's license which permits thelicensee to engage in the manufacturing, constructing or assembling of new andunused vehicles or their major component parts or both in the state of Wyomingand sell new and unused vehicles;

 

(vi) Used vehicle dealer's license which permits the licensee toengage in the business of selling or exchanging used vehicles;

 

(vii) Temporary ninety (90) day vehicle dealer permit allows anapplicant to operate a business under this act for a period of ninety (90) dayswhile the department is completing an investigation for any purpose relative tothe business. The temporary permit terminates when the applicant's license hasbeen issued or refused but in no case shall the temporary permit exceed ninety(90) days;

 

(viii) Temporary recreational vehicle display and sales permitpursuant to W.S. 31-16-127.

 

(b) Repealed by Laws 2005, ch. 159, 2.

 

(c) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(d) Except for temporary vehicle dealer permits and specialrecreational vehicle display and sales permits, licenses issued under this actshall be valid for one (1) year and shall expire at midnight preceding theanniversary date.

 

31-16-105. Display, form and custody of dealer's license.

 

Thedepartment shall prescribe each form of the license. Each dealer shallconspicuously display his own license in his place of business.

 

31-16-106. Required principal place of business.

 

Thedepartment shall not issue a dealer's license to any applicant without aprincipal place of business. If the dealer changes the site or location of hisprincipal place of business, he shall immediately notify the department. A newlicense shall be granted if the new location meets all the requirements of aprincipal place of business. If a dealer ceases to have a principal place ofbusiness he shall immediately surrender his license to the department until thedealer obtains a principal place of business. The dealer's license shall bereissued without charge if a principal place of business is established. Nothingin this act shall be construed to prevent a dealer from conducting the businessfor which he is licensed at one (1) or more licensed supplemental lots orlocations not contiguous but operated and maintained in conjunction with thedealer's principal place of business.

 

31-16-107. Right of action.

 

Anyperson injured because he refuses to agree to a proposal which would be inviolation of this act, may bring an action for damages and equitable relief,including injunctive relief.

 

31-16-108. Unlawful acts.

 

(a) No vehicle dealer or other person required to be licensedunder this act, or any salesperson or agent shall:

 

(i) Knowingly publish or circulate any misleading or inaccurateadvertisement which misrepresents any of the products sold or furnished by alicensed dealer or use any false or misleading advertisement in the conduct ofits business;

 

(ii) Violate this act or any of the rules and regulationspromulgated under it;

 

(iii) Knowingly purchase, sell, acquire or dispose of a stolen vehicle;

 

(iv) Violate any law of this state respecting commerce invehicles or any state agency rule or regulation;

 

(v) Engage in the business for which a dealer is licensedwithout maintaining a principal place of business as required by this act;

 

(vi) Engage in a type of business respecting the sale orexchange of new or new and used vehicles for which he is not licensed;

 

(vii) Knowingly purchase a vehicle which has an altered orremoved vehicle identification number or to alter or remove a vehicleidentification number plate;

 

(viii) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(ix) Violate any provision of the federal motor vehicle safetystandards;

 

(x) Display for sale, exchange or sell any new motor vehiclefor which the vehicle dealer does not hold a valid franchise;

 

(xi) Import, display for sale, exchange, or sell, any newvehicle, or any used vehicle originally sold by a manufacturer for distributionoutside the United States unless the vehicle is in compliance with all federalregulations governing vehicles that were manufactured for distribution outsidethe United States and subsequently imported into the United States. Any dealerrequired to be licensed under this act shall maintain records in his principalplace of business necessary to verify compliance with this provision ifrequested by the department or any law enforcement officer;

 

(xii) Advertise, display, demonstrate, exchange or sell anyvehicle with less than one thousand (1,000) miles on the odometer, unless theperson is a properly licensed dealer, or the person has obtained a validWyoming title in his name or business name and has paid the applicable sales oruse tax on the vehicle in his name before advertising, displaying,demonstrating, exchanging or selling the vehicle.

 

(b) No manufacturer licensed under this act shall require orcoerce or attempt to require or coerce any new vehicle dealer in this state:

 

(i) To order or accept delivery of any new vehicle, vehiclepart or accessory, equipment or any other commodity not required by law whichthe new vehicle dealer has not voluntarily ordered. This paragraph does notmodify or supersede any terms or provisions of the franchise requiring newvehicle dealers to market a representative line of the vehicles covered by thefranchise, to promote the sale, leasing and rental of the vehicles and to carrya reasonable inventory of models offered for sale by the manufacturer;

 

(ii) To order or accept delivery of any new vehicle with specialfeatures, accessories or equipment not included in the list price of thosevehicles as publicly advertised by the manufacturer or distributor unless theyare required by law;

 

(iii) To participate monetarily in an advertising campaign orcontest or to purchase any promotional materials, training materials, showroomor other display decorations or materials at the expense of the new vehicledealer. This paragraph does not modify any provisions of the franchiserequiring the dealer to advertise and promote the sale of vehicles covered by thefranchise and does not apply to campaigns, contests, advertising and otherpromotional programs in which the dealer voluntarily participates;

 

(iv) To enter into any agreement with the manufacturer or toprejudice the new vehicle dealer by threatening to terminate or cancel afranchise or any contractual agreement existing between the dealer and themanufacturer. This paragraph does not preclude the manufacturer or distributorfrom insisting on compliance with the reasonable terms or provisions of thefranchise or other contractual agreement. Notice in good faith from amanufacturer or distributor to any new vehicle dealer of the new vehicledealer's violation of those terms or provisions does not constitute a violationof this act;

 

(v) To change the capital structure of the new vehicle dealeror the new vehicle dealer's financing means if the new vehicle dealer meets anyreasonable capital standards determined by the manufacturer in accordance withuniformly applied criteria. A new vehicle dealer may change its capitalstructure in accordance with reasonable capital standards if the change doesnot change the principal management or ownership in whole or in part or resultin the sale of the franchise. If a change in capital structure results in a saleof the franchise, the manufacturer or distributor may not unreasonably withholdany necessary consent to the change;

 

(vi) To refrain from participation in the management of,investment in or the acquisition of any other line of new vehicle or relatedproducts. This paragraph does not apply unless the new vehicle dealermaintains a reasonable line of credit for each make or line of new vehicle, thenew vehicle dealer remains in compliance with any reasonable facilities andother franchise requirements of the manufacturer and no change is made in theprincipal management of the new vehicle dealer;

 

(vii) To prospectively agree to relieve any person from liabilityimposed by this law or to require any controversy between a new vehicle dealerand a manufacturer, distributor or their representatives, to be referred to anyperson other than the duly constituted courts of the state or the UnitedStates, or to the director if the referral would be binding upon the newvehicle dealer;

 

(viii) To establish, after becoming a new vehicle dealer,exclusive facilities, personnel or display space for a line make when suchrequirements would not be justified by reasonable business considerations;

 

(ix) To expand facilities without making available a sufficientsupply of new vehicles to justify an expansion considering the market andeconomic conditions;

 

(x) To modify significantly an existing dealership or toconstruct a new vehicle dealership facility without a sufficient supply of newvehicles to justify a modification or construction considering the market andeconomic conditions.

 

(c) No manufacturer licensed under this act shall:

 

(i) Delay, refuse or fail to deliver new vehicles or newvehicle parts or accessories in a reasonable time and quantity relative to thenew vehicle dealer's facilities and sales potential in the new vehicle dealer'srelevant market area after acceptance of an order from a new vehicle dealerhaving a franchise for the retail sale of any new vehicle sold or distributedby the manufacturer, any new vehicle, parts or accessories to new vehicles asare covered by the franchise, if the vehicle, parts or accessories are publiclyadvertised as being available for delivery or actually delivered. Failurecaused by acts or causes beyond the control of the manufacturer is not aviolation of this act;

 

(ii) Refuse to disclose to any new vehicle dealer handling thesame line make the manner and mode of distribution of the line make within therelevant market area;

 

(iii) Without the consent of the dealer, obtain money, goods,services or other benefit from a person who does business with the new vehicledealer in relation to the transaction between the new vehicle dealer and theperson other than as compensation for services rendered and products provided,unless the benefit is promptly transmitted or credited to the new vehicledealer;

 

(iv) Increase prices of new vehicles ordered by the new vehicledealer for consumers prior to the new vehicle dealer's receipt of the writtenofficial price increase notification. A sales contract signed by a consumer isevidence of each order if the vehicle is delivered to the customer. In theevent of manufacturer price reductions or cash rebates paid to the new vehicledealer intended by the manufacturer to be passed on to the consumer, the amountof any reduction or rebate received by a new vehicle dealer passes to theprivate retail consumer by the new vehicle dealer. Price reductions apply toall unused, undamaged and unsold vehicles in the dealer's inventory which weresubject to the price reduction. Price differences applicable to a new model orseries are not a price increase or price decrease. Price changes caused by thefollowing are not subject to this paragraph:

 

(A) The addition to a vehicle of required or optional equipmentor a change in the capacity, performance, size, weight or design specificationsof a vehicle;

 

(B) Changes in the rate of exchange of the United Statesdollar, in the case of foreign-made vehicles or components; and

 

(C) An increase in transportation charges due to increasedrates imposed by a carrier.

 

(v) Release to any other party, except under subpoena or asotherwise required by law or in an administrative, judicial or arbitrationproceeding involving the manufacturer or new vehicle dealer, any business,financial, or personal information which is provided by the new vehicle dealerto the manufacturer without the express written consent of the new vehicledealer;

 

(vi) Deny any new vehicle dealer the right of free associationwith any other new vehicle dealer for any lawful purpose;

 

(vii) Unfairly compete with a new vehicle dealer in the same linemake and operating under an agreement or franchise from the manufacturer inthe relevant market area. A manufacturer is not competing when operating adealership either temporarily for a reasonable period or in a bona fide retailoperation which is for sale to any qualified independent person at a fair andreasonable price, or in a bona fide relationship in which an independent personhas made a significant investment subject to loss in the dealership and canreasonably expect to acquire full ownership of such dealership on reasonableterms and conditions;

 

(viii) Unfairly discriminate among its new vehicle dealers withrespect to warranty reimbursement;

 

(ix) Unreasonably withhold consent to the sale, transfer orexchange of the franchise to a qualified buyer capable of being licensed as anew vehicle dealer in this state;

 

(x) Fail to respond in writing to a request for consent asspecified in paragraph (ix) of this subsection within sixty (60) days ofreceipt of a written request. Failure to respond within the time specified isconsent to the request;

 

(xi) Prevent or attempt to prevent any new vehicle dealer fromchanging the executive management control of the new vehicle dealer unless themanufacturer shows the change of executive management will result in executivemanagement or control by a person who is not of good moral character or whodoes not meet reasonable, preexisting and, with consideration given to thevolume of sales and service of the dealership, uniformly applied minimumbusiness experience standards. This paragraph does not prevent a manufactureror distributor from withholding consent based upon the prospective buyer'scharacter, automotive experience, capital and other reasonable qualificationsfor appointment as a dealer, and the effect of the proposed transaction uponcompetition. If the manufacturer rejects a proposed change in executivemanagement control, written notice of his reasons shall be given to the dealerwithin sixty (60) days of notice to the manufacturer by the dealer of theproposed change or the change in the executive management of the new vehicledealer shall be presumptively deemed approved;

 

(xii) Terminate, cancel or fail to renew any franchise solelybecause of the death or incapacity of an owner who is not listed in thefranchise as one on whose expertise and abilities the manufacturer relied ingranting the franchise;

 

(xiii) Prevent or attempt to prevent the new vehicle dealer from receiving the fair market value of the dealership in a sale transaction or fromtransferring the new vehicle dealership to a spouse or legal heir as specifiedin this act;

 

(xiv) Engage in any predatory practice or discrimination againstany new vehicle dealer;

 

(xv) Use any false or misleading advertisement in the conduct ofhis business as a manufacturer or distributor in this state;

 

(xvi) Make any false or misleading statement, either directly orthrough any agent or employee, to induce any new vehicle dealer to enter intoany agreement or franchise.

 

(d) No manufacturer or any officer, agent or representativeshall coerce or attempt to coerce any new vehicle dealer in this state to sell,assign or transfer any retail installment sales contract obtained by the dealerin connection with the sale by him in this state of new vehicles manufacturedor sold by the manufacturer to a specified finance company, class of companiesor to any other specified person.

 

(e) Any statement, threats, promises, acts, contracts or offersof contracts which lessen or eliminate competition or tend to create amonopoly are unfair trade practices, unfair methods of competition and are prohibited.

 

(f) No manufacturer or agent or employee of a manufacturershall use a written instrument, agreement or waiver to attempt to nullify anyof the provisions of this section. Any such agreement, written instrument orwaiver is null and void.

 

(g) No person shall directly or indirectly impose unreasonablerestrictions on the new vehicle dealer relative to the sale, transfer, right torenew, termination, discipline, noncompetition covenants, site control (whetherby sublease, collateral pledge of lease, or otherwise), right of first refusalto purchase, option to purchase, compliance with subjective standards andassertion of legal or equitable rights.

 

(h) This act applies to all written franchise agreementsbetween a manufacturer and a new vehicle dealer, including but not limited to,the franchise offering, the franchise agreement, sales of goods, services oradvertising, promises to pay, security interests, pledges, insurance contracts,advertising contracts, construction or installation contracts, servicingcontracts and all other agreements where the manufacturer has any direct orindirect interest.

 

(j) No motor vehicle manufacturer or distributor licensed underthis act, directly or indirectly, shall offer to sell or sell new motorvehicles to a consumer except through a new vehicle dealer who holds a validsales and service agreement, franchise, or contract granted by themanufacturer, distributor or wholesaler for the sale of its motor vehicles.This subsection shall not apply to sales to affiliates of the manufacturer,distributor or wholesaler, sales to the federal government, charitableorganizations or sales to employees of the manufacturer, distributor orwholesaler.

 

31-16-109. Termination, cancellation or nonrenewal of franchise.

 

 

(a) Notwithstanding the terms, provisions or conditions of anyfranchise or waiver, no manufacturer shall cancel, terminate or fail to renewany franchise with a licensee unless the manufacturer has satisfied the noticerequirement of subsection (b) of this section and has good cause forcancellation, termination or nonrenewal.

 

(b) Prior to the termination, cancellation or nonrenewal of anyfranchise, the manufacturer shall furnish notification of termination,cancellation or nonrenewal to the department and the licensee:

 

(i) Not less than ninety (90) days prior to the effective dateof the termination, cancellation or nonrenewal;

 

(ii) Not less than fifteen (15) days prior to the effective dateof the termination, cancellation or nonrenewal with respect to any of thefollowing which shall constitute good cause for cancellation, termination ornonrenewal:

 

(A) Insolvency of the licensee, or filing of any petition by oragainst the licensee under any bankruptcy or receivership law;

 

(B) Failure of the licensee to conduct sales and serviceoperations during customary business hours for seven (7) consecutive businessdays, except for acts of God or circumstances beyond the direct control of thelicensee;

 

(C) Conviction of the dealer, or any owner or principal managerof the dealer in a court of original jurisdiction of a felony or any crimeinvolving theft, dishonesty or false statement;

 

(D) Revocation of any license which the licensee is required tohave to operate a dealership;

 

(E) A fraudulent misrepresentation by the new motor vehicledealer to the manufacturer, which is material to the franchise; or

 

(iii) Not less than one hundred eighty (180) days prior to theeffective date of the termination or cancellation, where the manufacturer isdiscontinuing the sale of the product line.

 

(c) Notification under this section shall be in writing, bycertified mail or personally delivered to the licensee and shall state theintention to terminate, cancel or not to renew the franchise, reasons for thetermination, cancellation or nonrenewal and the date on which the termination,cancellation or nonrenewal takes effect.

 

(d) Good cause for termination, cancellation or nonrenewal of afranchise shall include but not be limited to:

 

(i) Failure by the licensee to comply with a provision of thefranchise, which is both reasonable and of material significance to thefranchise relationship, provided that the dealer has been notified in writingof the failure within one hundred eighty (180) days prior to termination,cancellation or nonrenewal;

 

(ii) Failure of the licensee to comply with reasonableperformance criteria established by the manufacturer if the licensee wasapprised by the manufacturer in writing of the failure and:

 

(A) The notification stated that notice was provided of failureof performance pursuant to this section;

 

(B) The licensee was afforded a reasonable opportunity, for aperiod of not less than six (6) months, to comply with the criteria; and

 

(C) The licensee did not demonstrate substantial compliancewith the performance criteria of the manufacturer during such period.

 

(e) Within twenty (20) days of receiving the notice or withintwenty (20) days after the end of any appeal procedure provided by themanufacturer, the dealer may file with the department to protest thetermination, cancellation or nonrenewal. When a protest is filed, thedepartment shall inform the manufacturer that a timely protest has been filed.The manufacturer shall have twenty (20) days to respond to the protest. Themanufacturer shall not terminate, cancel or nonrenew the franchise until thedepartment has held a hearing and determined that there is good cause forpermitting the termination, cancellation or nonrenewal.

 

(f) The department will select a hearing examiner to conduct ahearing and to render proposed findings of fact. The proposed findings of factshall be conclusive unless clearly erroneous and unsupported by the record. The hearing shall be conducted and the department shall render its finaldetermination within one hundred twenty (120) days after the manufacturerresponds to the licensee's protest. The department may forbid the termination,cancellation or nonrenewal of the franchise if it is determined good cause doesnot exist.

 

(g) All costs of the department, including but not limited to,the cost of the investigation, the cost of the hearing examiner and the cost ofpreparing the record, shall be borne equally by the parties. The departmentmay, in its discretion, award costs to the prevailing party in any hearing heldpursuant to this chapter provided, however, if the department should determineby a preponderance of the evidence, that the protest is without merit, it shallaward costs and reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party.

 

(h) The manufacturer shall have the burden of proof under thissection.

 

(j) Upon the termination, nonrenewal or cancellation of anyfranchise by the manufacturer pursuant to this section, the licensee shall beallowed fair and reasonable compensation by the manufacturer for the:

 

(i) New vehicle inventory which is unused, undamaged, unsoldand acquired from the manufacturer within the prior twelve (12) months andprior to the dealer receiving notice of termination;

 

(ii) Supplies and parts which are unused, undamaged, unsold andin original packaging and have been acquired from the manufacturer prior to thedealer receiving notice of termination and are listed in the manufacturer'scurrent parts catalog or price list;

 

(iii) Equipment and furnishings purchased from the manufactureror its approved sources in order to comply with the dealer's obligations underthe franchise; and

 

(iv) Special tools acquired from the manufacturer or a sourceapproved by the manufacturer which were recommended by the manufacturer inwriting and are in good and usable condition, except for reasonable wear andtear.

 

(k) Fair and reasonable compensation under subsection (j) ofthis section shall be paid or credited by the manufacturer within ninety (90)days of the tender of the property, provided the licensee has clear title tothe inventory and other items and is in a position to convey that title to themanufacturer.

 

(m) In the event of a termination, cancellation or nonrenewalby the manufacturer under this section, except as provided in subparagraph(b)(ii)(C) of this section, the manufacturer shall pay:

 

(i) A sum equivalent to rent of the unexpired term of the leaseor one (1) year rent based upon reasonable rental value, whichever is less, ifthe motor vehicle dealer is leasing its motor vehicle dealership facility froma lessor other than manufacturers or distributors; or

 

(ii) A sum equivalent to reasonable rental value of thedealership facility for one (1) year or the reasonable rental value of thefacility until facilities are leased or sold, whichever is less, if the motorvehicle dealer owns the motor vehicle dealer facility.

 

(n) The rental payment required under subsection (m) of thissection is only required to the extent that the facilities were used for thesale and service of the manufacturer's or distributor's product, and only tothe extent they are not leased for other purposes. Payment under subsection(k) of this section entitles the manufacturer or distributor to possession anduse of the facility.

 

(o) This section shall not relieve a new motor vehicle dealer,lessor or other owner of an established place of business from the obligationto mitigate damages.

 

31-16-110. Succession to franchise ownership.

 

 

(a) Notwithstanding the terms, provisions or conditions of anyfranchise:

 

(i) Any owner or a licensee may appoint by will, or any otherwritten instrument, a designated family member to succeed in the ownershipinterest of the owner in the new vehicle dealer;

 

(ii) Unless there exists good cause for refusal to honorsuccession by the manufacturer, any designated family member of a deceased orincapacitated owner of a new vehicle dealer may succeed to the ownership of thenew vehicle dealer under the existing franchise if:

 

(A) The designated family member gives the manufacturer writtennotice of intent to succeed to the ownership of the new vehicle dealer withinthirty (30) days of the owner's death or incapacity; and

 

(B) The designated family member agrees to be bound by all theterms and conditions of the franchise.

 

(iii) The manufacturer may request and the designated familymember shall promptly provide personal and financial data reasonably necessaryto determine whether the succession should be honored;

 

(iv) If a manufacturer believes good cause exists for refusingto honor the succession to the ownership of a new vehicle dealer by a familymember of a deceased or incapacitated owner of a new vehicle dealer under theexisting franchise agreement, the manufacturer may serve upon the designatedfamily member and the department notice of its refusal to honor the successionand of its intent to discontinue the existing franchise with the dealer nosooner than sixty (60) days from the date the notice is served. The notice mayonly be served not more than sixty (60) days following receipt of:

 

(A) Notice of the designated family member's intent to succeedto the ownership of the new vehicle dealer; or

 

(B) Any personal or financial data which it has requested.

 

(v) The notice in paragraph (iv) of this subsection shall statethe specific grounds for the refusal to honor the succession and of its intentto discontinue the existing franchise with the new vehicle dealer no soonerthan sixty (60) days from the date the notice is served;

 

(vi) If notice of refusal and discontinuance is not timelyserved upon the family member, the franchise shall continue in effect subjectto termination only as otherwise permitted under this act;

 

(vii) Within twenty (20) days of receiving the notice after theend of any appeal procedure provided by the manufacturer, the designated familymember may file with the department to protest the refusal to honor thesuccessor. When such a protest is filed, the department shall inform themanufacturer that a timely protest has been filed and the manufacturer hassixty (60) days to respond to the protest after actually being informed by thedepartment of the protest. The manufacturer shall not terminate or discontinuethe existing franchise until the department has held a hearing under theWyoming Administrative Procedure Act and determined that there is good causefor not permitting the succession. All hearing costs shall be borne asprescribed under W.S. 31-16-109(g);

 

(viii) In determining whether good cause for the refusal to honorthe succession exists, the manufacturer or importer has the burden of proof;

 

(ix) This act does not preclude the owner of a new vehicledealer from designating any person as his successor by written instrument filedwith the manufacturer. If there is a conflict between the written instrumentand this section and the written instrument has not been revoked by the ownerof the new dealer in writing to the manufacturer the written instrument shallgovern;

 

(x) As used in this section, "manufacturer" includesa manufacturer, a distributor, a factory branch, distributor branch or otherrepresentative.

 

31-16-111. Limitations on establishing or relocating new vehicledealers.

 

 

(a) If a manufacturer seeks to enter into a franchiseestablishing an additional new vehicle dealer or relocating an existing newvehicle dealer within a radius of ten (10) miles from where the same line makeis then represented the manufacturer shall in writing notify the department andeach new vehicle dealer in that line make within a ten (10) mile radius of theintention to establish an additional dealer or to relocate an existing dealerwithin the ten (10) mile radius. Within twenty (20) days of receiving the noticeor within twenty (20) days after the end of any appeal procedure provided bythe manufacturer, any new vehicle dealer notified may file with the departmentto protest the establishing or relocating of the new vehicle dealer. When aprotest is filed, the department shall inform the manufacturer that a timelyprotest has been filed, and the manufacturer has forty-five (45) days torespond to the protest. The manufacturer shall not establish or relocate theproposed new vehicle dealer until the department has held a hearing under theWyoming Administrative Procedure Act, nor thereafter, if the department hasdetermined that there is good cause for not permitting the addition orrelocation of the new vehicle dealer which determination shall be made within sixty(60) days of receipt by the department of the response to the protest from themanufacturer. All hearing costs shall be borne as prescribed in W.S.31-16-109(g).

 

(b) This section does not apply:

 

(i) To the relocation of an existing new vehicle dealer withinthat dealer's relevant market area, provided that the relocation not be at asite within seven (7) miles of a new vehicle dealer for the same line make ofvehicle;

 

(ii) If the proposed new vehicle dealer is to be established ator within two (2) miles of a location at which a former new vehicle dealer forthe same line make had ceased operating within the previous two (2) years;

 

(iii) To the reopening of a new vehicle dealer who temporarilyhas been out of business;

 

(iv) If the protesting new vehicle dealer has not established tothe department that he:

 

(A) Is a licensed new motor vehicle dealer of the same linemake located within ten (10) miles of the proposed location of the additionalnew vehicle dealer or of the proposed relocation site of an existing newvehicle dealer;

 

(B) Is providing facilities, equipment, parts, capital andpersonnel in substantial compliance with its contractual obligations to themanufacturer; and

 

(C) Has attained in the last three (3) years sales penetrationfor the manufacturer in his area of responsibility that is equal to or greaterthan the average penetration of all same line make new vehicle dealers in thestate; or

 

(v) Where the relocation is two (2) miles or less from theexisting location of the relocating new vehicle dealer.

 

(c) In determining whether good cause has been established fornot ent


State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title31 > Chapter16

CHAPTER 16 - MOTOR VEHICLE FRANCHISES

 

31-16-101. Definitions.

 

(a) As used in this act:

 

(i) "Coerce" means compelling another to do what heis not otherwise required to do or not to do what he otherwise has a right todo;

 

(ii) "Department" means the department oftransportation;

 

(iii) "Designated family member" means:

 

(A) The spouse, child, grandchild, parent, brother or sister ofthe owner of a new motor vehicle dealership who, in the case of the owner'sdeath, is entitled to inherit the ownership interest in the new motor vehicledealership under the terms of the owner's will or applicable intestate laws;

 

(B) A person who has been nominated by the owner of a new motorvehicle dealership as the successor to the dealership in any written instrumentfiled with the manufacturer; or

 

(C) In the case of an incapacitated owner of a new motorvehicle dealership, the person who has been appointed by a court as the legalrepresentative of the incapacitated owner's property.

 

(iv) "Director" means the director of the department;

 

(v) "Distributor" means a person who has a franchisefrom a manufacturer of vehicles to distribute vehicles in this state, and whoin whole or in part sells or distributes new vehicles to vehicle dealers or whomaintains distributor representatives;

 

(vi) "Distributor branch" means a branch officemaintained by a distributor for the same purposes for which a factory branch ismaintained;

 

(vii) "Distributor representative" means a personengaged as a representative of a distributor or distributor branch for thepurpose of making or promoting the sale of its vehicles or for supervising orcontacting its dealers or prospective dealers;

 

(viii) "Factory branch" means a branch office maintainedby a manufacturer for the sale of vehicles to distributors, for the sale ofvehicles to vehicle dealers or for directing or supervising, in whole or inpart, its representatives;

 

(ix) "Factory representative" means a person engagedas a representative of a manufacturer or by a factory branch for the purpose ofmaking or promoting a sale of its vehicles, or for supervising or contactingits dealers or prospective dealers;

 

(x) "Franchise or dealer's selling agreement", hereinafter referred to as the "sales and services agreement", meansa contract or agreement between a vehicle dealer and a manufacturer or itsdistributor or factory branch by which the dealer is authorized to engage inthe business of selling any specified make of new vehicles;

 

(xi) "Motor vehicle" means a self-propelled vehicle,excluding a motor home and which:

 

(A) Is intended for registration and use on the publichighways; and

 

(B) Has at least three (3) wheels.

 

(xii) "New vehicle" means a motor vehicle which is inthe possession of a manufacturer or has been sold by a manufacturer fordistribution in the United States to the holders of a valid sales and serviceagreement, franchise or contract granted by the manufacturer for sale of thenew motor vehicle and which is in fact new and on which the original motorvehicle title has not been issued from the franchised dealer;

 

(xiii) "Manufacturer" means a person engaged in thebusiness of constructing or assembling vehicles which are subject toregistration in this state and, except where otherwise provided,"manufacturer" means a distributor, a factory branch, distributorbranch or other representative thereof, but excludes any person whose principalbusiness is wholesale and retail financing;

 

(xiv) "Principal place of business" means:

 

(A) For dealers selling fewer than twelve (12) vehicles in anytwelve (12) consecutive month period, a permanent commercial building locatedwithin the state of Wyoming at which the business of a new motor vehicle dealermay be lawfully carried on in accordance with the terms of all applicablebuilding codes, zoning and other land-use regulatory ordinances, and in whichbuilding the public may contact the vehicle dealer or his vehicle salesman atall reasonable times, and at which place of business shall be kept andmaintained the books, records and files necessary to conduct the business. Thebusiness shall be sufficiently identified with an exterior sign permanentlyaffixed to the building or land with letters clearly visible from the highwayfacing the site and designated to indicate the nature of the business and thelandline telephone number of the business. A landline telephone shall berequired in the principal place of business;

 

(B) For dealers selling twelve (12) or more vehicles in anytwelve (12) consecutive month period, a site upon which a permanent building islocated containing adequate facilities to carry on the business of a licenseddealer and used to conduct business as a dealer and not primarily used as, orattached directly to, a residence, with space thereon or contiguous theretoadequate to permit the display of at least five (5) vehicles and sufficientlyidentified with an exterior sign permanently affixed to the building or landwith letters clearly visible from the highway facing the site and designated toindicate the nature of the business. The facilities, sign and space fordisplay shall be in compliance with all applicable zoning ordinances prescribedby the municipality or county in which they are located and in which buildingthe public may contact the vehicle dealer or the dealer's salespersons duringthe declared business hours, and at which place of business shall be kept andmaintained the books, records and files as required by W.S. 31-11-107(a) and(b) necessary to conduct the business. A landline telephone shall be requiredin the principal place of business with a published phone number listed to theprincipal place of business;

 

(xv) "Relevant market area" means that marketing areaas defined by the sales and service agreement granted by the manufacturer,distributor or wholesaler and held by a new vehicle dealer;

 

(xvi) "Used vehicle" means any vehicle other than a newvehicle;

 

(xvii) Repealed By Laws 2001, Ch. 24, 2.

 

(xviii) "Vehicle dealer" or "dealer" means anyperson engaged in the business of selling or exchanging vehicles or who buysand sells, or exchanges retail three (3) or more vehicles or six (6) or morenew vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating over twenty-six thousand(26,000) pounds in any twelve (12) consecutive month period, but does notinclude any insurance company, finance company, public utility company orperson coming into possession of any vehicle as an incident to its regularbusiness who sells that vehicle, or who sells that vehicle under anycontractual rights it may have with respect thereto. Vehicle dealers areclassified as follows:

 

(A) A "new vehicle dealer" means a vehicle dealerthat deals solely in new vehicles or in new and used vehicles. It also includesa person who in the ordinary course of business is engaged in the business ofselling new motor vehicles to consumers or other end users and who holds avalid sales and service agreement, franchise or contract, granted by amanufacturer, distributor or wholesaler for the sale of its motor vehicles;

 

(B) A "used vehicle dealer" means a vehicle dealerthat deals solely in used vehicles;

 

(C) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(xix) "Wholesaler" means a person who sells usedvehicles to Wyoming vehicle dealers;

 

(xx) "This act" means W.S. 31-16-101 through31-16-127;

 

(xxi) "Antique vehicle" means a motor vehicle which isat least twenty-five (25) years old;

 

(xxii) "Established place of business" means each placeactually occupied either continuously or at regular periods by a manufacturerwhere the manufacturer's books and records are kept and a large share of themanufacturer's business is conducted;

 

(xxiii) "Recreational vehicle" means a vehicle designedprimarily as living quarters for recreational, camping, vacation or travel usewhich has an electrical system which operates above twelve (12) volts and has aplumbing and heating system;

 

(xxiv) "Retail vehicle sale" means the lease of avehicle or transfer of title of a vehicle to another person in exchange forvalue but excludes a transfer for the purpose of resale;

 

(xxv) "Vehicle" means as defined in W.S.31-1-101(a)(xxvi);

 

(xxvi) A "Wyoming based manufacturer" means a personwith an established place of business in Wyoming who is engaged in the businessof manufacturing, constructing or assembling new and unused vehicles or theirmajor component parts or both and sells new and unused vehicles to dealers,wholesalers, distributors or the general public. The term includes a factorybranch office of the manufacturer, or any partnership, firm, association, jointventure, corporation or trust which is controlled by the manufacturer;

 

(xxvii) "Agent" means a person other than a holder of anyvehicle dealer's license issued by the department who, for salary, commissionor compensation of any kind, negotiates in any way for the sale, purchase,order or exchange of vehicles;

 

(xxviii) "Applicant" means any person, corporation,limited liability company, limited partnership or any other entity that filesan application with the department for a vehicle dealer's license under thisact;

 

(xxix) "Licensed dealer" means a vehicle dealer that islicensed by the department pursuant to this act as a new vehicle dealer or aused vehicle dealer;

 

(xxx) "Salesperson" means an individual who, forsalary, commission or compensation of any kind, is employed either directly,indirectly, regularly or occasionally by any new vehicle dealer or any usedvehicle dealer to sell, purchase or exchange vehicles.

 

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(xxv) of this section, forpurposes of W.S. 31-16-108 through 31-16-124 "vehicle" means a motorvehicle as defined in paragraph (a)(xi) of this section.

 

31-16-102. Unlicensed vehicle dealers and manufacturers prohibited.

 

Noperson shall hold himself out as being in the business of a retail seller ofvehicles, or act as a retail vehicle dealer or Wyoming based manufacturerwithout a valid license issued by the department under this act. No personshall act as a vehicle dealer of a new vehicle without a valid license as a newvehicle dealer for new vehicles of the same line make issued by the departmentunder this act. No person other than a licensed vehicle dealer shall display avehicle for sale unless the title is in the name of the displayer. No personshall solicit sales of vehicles without a vehicle dealer's license, unless thetitle is in the name of the person soliciting sales.

 

31-16-103. Licenses; applications; issuance, suspension and revocation;change in ownership; rulemaking.

 

(a) An applicant for a license required under this act shall,before commencing business and annually thereafter submit an application to thedepartment in a form prescribed by the department containing the following:

 

(i) The legal name and residence address of the applicant andthe trade name, if any, under which the applicant intends to conduct hisbusiness. If the applicant is a partnership, the name and residence address ofeach partner, whether a limited or general partner, and the name under whichthe partnership business is to be conducted. If the applicant is a corporation,the name of the corporation and the name and address of each of its principalofficers and directors. If the applicant is a limited liability company, thename and address of the members and managers;

 

(ii) A complete description, including the address, of theprincipal place of business and any other place of business for activitiesrequiring a license under this act operated and maintained by the applicant inconjunction with the principal place of business in each county in this state;

 

(iii) For a new vehicle dealer's license, copies of letters offranchise for the new vehicles that the applicant has been enfranchised to sellor exchange and the name and addresses of any manufacturer or distributor whohas enfranchised the applicant;

 

(iv) For a manufacturer's license, the name and address of eachdistributor, factory branch and factory representative;

 

(v) Any other information the department may reasonablyrequire, including financial statements of new applicants, past or presentjudicial, civil or administrative dispositions of criminal, civil oradministrative actions relating to the conduct of the business if currentlylicensed or a new applicant, telephone numbers, sales and use tax numbers forthe business and declared business hours. Any new applicant for a licenseissued under this act, including all officers of a corporation or members of alimited liability company or limited partnership, shall provide informationnecessary for a state and national criminal history record background check andrelease of information as provided in W.S. 7-19-106(k)(ii) and consent to therelease of any criminal history information to the department;

 

(vi) If a renewal of dealer's license, the number of retailvehicle sales each month during the twelve (12) full calendar months precedingthe month in which the renewal application is made;

 

(vii) For a Wyoming based manufacturer's license, a descriptionof the location of each established place of business in this state, the numberof manufacturer license plates requested, a statement of the need for theplates including, but not limited to, the number of employees, annual sales,and such other information as required by the department.

 

(b) Pending determination by the department that the applicanthas met the requirements under this act, it may issue a temporary license toany applicant. A temporary license shall not exceed a period of ninety (90)days while the department is completing its investigation and determination ofall facts relative to the qualifications of the applicant for the license. Thetemporary license terminates when the applicant's license has been issued orrefused. When the department determines the applicant has complied with alllicensing requirements, the department shall issue a license or renewal to anapplicant upon submission of a complete application to the departmentindicating the applicant is qualified and will operate from a principal placeof business if a dealer or from an established place of business if a Wyoming basedmanufacturer, and upon filing of a bond and payment of a license fee oftwenty-five dollars ($25.00) for dealers selling fewer than twelve (12)vehicles in any twelve (12) consecutive month period and one hundred dollars($100.00) for dealers selling twelve (12) or more vehicles in any twelve (12)consecutive month period as follows:

 

(i) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(ii) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(iii) Any additional place of business to be licensed under thisact has sufficient facilities such that it could qualify as a principal placeof business and is located in the same county in which the principal place ofbusiness is located;

 

(iv) To a dealer who had at least twelve (12) retail sales orexchanged at least twelve (12) vehicles or six (6) or more new vehicles with agross vehicle weight rating over twenty-six thousand (26,000) pounds in thetwelve (12) full calendar months preceding the date of application;

 

(v) To a dealer selling self-propelled motor homes or drilling andservice rigs;

 

(vi) To a person who did not hold a certificate at the time ofthe application;

 

(vii) To a person engaged in the business of repossessingvehicles if that person repossessed at least twelve (12) vehicles in the twelve(12) full calendar months preceding the date of application, but the personneed not have a principal place of business as defined in this act;

 

(viii) To a banking or lending institution engaged in the businessof making loans secured by vehicles;

 

(ix) To a person selling antique vehicles and paying the annuallicense fee of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00);

 

(x) To the applicant who has not had alicense issued under this chapter suspended or revoked without reinstatement,and has not violated the provisions of this chapter or any rule or regulationadopted under this chapter, if the applicant is:

 

 

 

(A) A partner in a partnership;

 

(B) A director or stockholder of a corporation duly registeredand doing business in Wyoming; or

 

(C) A member or manager of a limited liability company dulyregistered and doing business in Wyoming.

 

(xi) To any additional place of business that may qualify underthis act.

 

(c) The department may deny, suspend, revoke or refuse to renewa license or temporary permit issued under this act if it finds the person,applicant, vehicle dealer, salesperson, agent or Wyoming based manufacturer:

 

(i) Knowingly violated any rule, regulation or statute or anyfederal law regulating dealers and manufacturers, or any federal vehicle safetystandards applicable to dealers or Wyoming based manufacturers;

 

(ii) Knowingly made a materially false statement in applying fora license, demo plates, full use plates, temporary registration permits, ordealer reassignment documents used by the applicant;

 

(iii) Failed to furnish or keep in force the required bond;

 

(iv) Has any previous administrative or criminal actions or haslost a civil action in this state or any other state relating to the conduct ofthe business license or applied for during the ten (10) years preceding thedate of the application;

 

(v) Used or permitted the use of demo or full use plates in anunauthorized manner or for an unauthorized purpose;

 

(vi) Used or permitted the use of temporary registration permitsin an unauthorized manner or for an unauthorized purpose;

 

(vii) Has been convicted of a felony involving fraud, conspiracyto commit fraud, forgery, embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses,larceny or extortion within the immediate ten (10) year period prior to thedate of license application;

 

(viii) Has been convicted of a felony under W.S. 6-2-302;

 

(ix) Failed to furnish any requested information to thedepartment.

 

(d) If a new vehicle dealer changes to, or adds, anotherfranchise for the sale of new vehicles, cancels or otherwise loses a franchisefor the sale of new vehicles, the dealer shall immediately notify thedepartment. If there is a cancellation or loss of franchise, and thedepartment determines the dealer may be licensed as a used vehicle dealer, thevehicle dealer shall surrender the new vehicle dealer's license and a usedvehicle dealer's license shall be issued. The dealer may continue in thebusiness for which a vehicle dealer is relicensed to dispose of the stock ofnew vehicles which the dealer had on hand at the time of the relicensing.

 

(e) The dealer or manufacturer shall immediately notify thedepartment which shall issue a new dealer or Wyoming based manufacturer licensefor the unexpired portion of the original license at no charge if the dealerchanges the site or location of his principal place of business, or the Wyomingbased manufacturer changes the site or location of his established place ofbusiness.

 

(f) Sixty (60) days after transfer of ownership of a dealershipor the business of a Wyoming based manufacturer, except as a result of transferof shares of stock in a corporate dealership or Wyoming based manufacturer dulyincorporated in Wyoming, the dealer license, Wyoming based manufacturerlicense, demo plates, full use plates, manufacturer plates and temporarypermits are void and shall immediately be delivered to the department. The newowner shall apply for a new dealer license, demo plates, full use plates,manufacturer plates and temporary permits immediately upon transfer ofownership. Upon transfer of ownership or termination of business the formerdealer or Wyoming based manufacturer shall notify the department and, if not atransfer of ownership, immediately deliver the dealer license, Wyoming basedmanufacturer license, demo plates, full use plates, manufacturer plates andtemporary permits to the department.

 

(g) A Wyoming licensed dealer may establish and operate anadditional place of business or operate in an organized motor vehicle show as avehicle dealer if:

 

(i) Each additional place of business except those located inan enclosed shopping mall, shall meet the same criteria as set forth in W.S.31-16-101(a)(xiv);

 

(ii) Before operating in an organized motor vehicle show, alicensed dealer shall notify the department in writing not later than fourteen(14) days prior to the date of the show and obtain a letter of authorizationfrom the department to operate in an organized motor vehicle show within thecounty of the principal place of business, or within the dealer's relevantmarket area as defined by W.S. 31-16-101(a)(xv). A vehicle dealer may operatein not more than four (4) shows in any calendar year and each show shall notexceed seven (7) consecutive days. The letter of authorization to operate in anorganized motor vehicle show shall be displayed in a location at the motorvehicle show where any peace officer or designated member of the department canexamine it. As used in this subsection, "organized motor vehicleshow" means an exhibition and sale by one (1) or more licensed motorvehicle dealers in a private or public assembly, facility or area.

 

(h) An applicant for a license to operate as a dealer orWyoming based manufacturer shall also file with the department a bond in thesum of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) with a corporate surety dulylicensed to do business within this state. The bond shall:

 

(i) Be approved as to form by the attorney general;

 

(ii) Guarantee the return of the dealer or Wyoming basedmanufacturer license, manufacturer plates, full use and demo plates, andtemporary permits; and

 

(iii) Be conditioned that the applicant shall not practice anyfraud, fraudulent misrepresentations, or violate any federal or state law,rules or regulations relating to the conduct of the business.

 

(j) The department shall promulgate rules necessary toimplement and enforce this act, including rules relating to the authorized useof demo, full use or manufacturer plates, the form of the plates and the numberof manufacturer plates issued.

 

(k) If the director has reasonable cause to believe that alicensee or other person has violated or is violating any provision of this actor any other law related to the conduct of a vehicle dealer or has violated oris violating any rule or order adopted or issued by the department pursuant tolaw, in addition to any other remedies existing in this act, the director maybring and maintain, in the name and on behalf of the department, an action inthe proper court against a licensee or other person to restrain or enjoin thelicensee or other person from continuing the violation. In the action, thecourt shall proceed as in other actions for injunction.

 

31-16-104. Classes of licenses and permits; expiration.

 

(a) Licenses issued under this act shall be the followingclasses:

 

(i) New vehicle dealer's license which permits the licensee toengage in the business of selling or exchanging new vehicles or both new andused vehicles;

 

(ii) Motor vehicle manufacturer's license which permits the out-of-statemanufacturer to engage in the business of constructing or assembling motorvehicles of the type subject to registration in this state;

 

(iii) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(iv) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(v) Wyoming based manufacturer's license which permits thelicensee to engage in the manufacturing, constructing or assembling of new andunused vehicles or their major component parts or both in the state of Wyomingand sell new and unused vehicles;

 

(vi) Used vehicle dealer's license which permits the licensee toengage in the business of selling or exchanging used vehicles;

 

(vii) Temporary ninety (90) day vehicle dealer permit allows anapplicant to operate a business under this act for a period of ninety (90) dayswhile the department is completing an investigation for any purpose relative tothe business. The temporary permit terminates when the applicant's license hasbeen issued or refused but in no case shall the temporary permit exceed ninety(90) days;

 

(viii) Temporary recreational vehicle display and sales permitpursuant to W.S. 31-16-127.

 

(b) Repealed by Laws 2005, ch. 159, 2.

 

(c) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(d) Except for temporary vehicle dealer permits and specialrecreational vehicle display and sales permits, licenses issued under this actshall be valid for one (1) year and shall expire at midnight preceding theanniversary date.

 

31-16-105. Display, form and custody of dealer's license.

 

Thedepartment shall prescribe each form of the license. Each dealer shallconspicuously display his own license in his place of business.

 

31-16-106. Required principal place of business.

 

Thedepartment shall not issue a dealer's license to any applicant without aprincipal place of business. If the dealer changes the site or location of hisprincipal place of business, he shall immediately notify the department. A newlicense shall be granted if the new location meets all the requirements of aprincipal place of business. If a dealer ceases to have a principal place ofbusiness he shall immediately surrender his license to the department until thedealer obtains a principal place of business. The dealer's license shall bereissued without charge if a principal place of business is established. Nothingin this act shall be construed to prevent a dealer from conducting the businessfor which he is licensed at one (1) or more licensed supplemental lots orlocations not contiguous but operated and maintained in conjunction with thedealer's principal place of business.

 

31-16-107. Right of action.

 

Anyperson injured because he refuses to agree to a proposal which would be inviolation of this act, may bring an action for damages and equitable relief,including injunctive relief.

 

31-16-108. Unlawful acts.

 

(a) No vehicle dealer or other person required to be licensedunder this act, or any salesperson or agent shall:

 

(i) Knowingly publish or circulate any misleading or inaccurateadvertisement which misrepresents any of the products sold or furnished by alicensed dealer or use any false or misleading advertisement in the conduct ofits business;

 

(ii) Violate this act or any of the rules and regulationspromulgated under it;

 

(iii) Knowingly purchase, sell, acquire or dispose of a stolen vehicle;

 

(iv) Violate any law of this state respecting commerce invehicles or any state agency rule or regulation;

 

(v) Engage in the business for which a dealer is licensedwithout maintaining a principal place of business as required by this act;

 

(vi) Engage in a type of business respecting the sale orexchange of new or new and used vehicles for which he is not licensed;

 

(vii) Knowingly purchase a vehicle which has an altered orremoved vehicle identification number or to alter or remove a vehicleidentification number plate;

 

(viii) Repealed by Laws 1997, ch. 154, 3.

 

(ix) Violate any provision of the federal motor vehicle safetystandards;

 

(x) Display for sale, exchange or sell any new motor vehiclefor which the vehicle dealer does not hold a valid franchise;

 

(xi) Import, display for sale, exchange, or sell, any newvehicle, or any used vehicle originally sold by a manufacturer for distributionoutside the United States unless the vehicle is in compliance with all federalregulations governing vehicles that were manufactured for distribution outsidethe United States and subsequently imported into the United States. Any dealerrequired to be licensed under this act shall maintain records in his principalplace of business necessary to verify compliance with this provision ifrequested by the department or any law enforcement officer;

 

(xii) Advertise, display, demonstrate, exchange or sell anyvehicle with less than one thousand (1,000) miles on the odometer, unless theperson is a properly licensed dealer, or the person has obtained a validWyoming title in his name or business name and has paid the applicable sales oruse tax on the vehicle in his name before advertising, displaying,demonstrating, exchanging or selling the vehicle.

 

(b) No manufacturer licensed under this act shall require orcoerce or attempt to require or coerce any new vehicle dealer in this state:

 

(i) To order or accept delivery of any new vehicle, vehiclepart or accessory, equipment or any other commodity not required by law whichthe new vehicle dealer has not voluntarily ordered. This paragraph does notmodify or supersede any terms or provisions of the franchise requiring newvehicle dealers to market a representative line of the vehicles covered by thefranchise, to promote the sale, leasing and rental of the vehicles and to carrya reasonable inventory of models offered for sale by the manufacturer;

 

(ii) To order or accept delivery of any new vehicle with specialfeatures, accessories or equipment not included in the list price of thosevehicles as publicly advertised by the manufacturer or distributor unless theyare required by law;

 

(iii) To participate monetarily in an advertising campaign orcontest or to purchase any promotional materials, training materials, showroomor other display decorations or materials at the expense of the new vehicledealer. This paragraph does not modify any provisions of the franchiserequiring the dealer to advertise and promote the sale of vehicles covered by thefranchise and does not apply to campaigns, contests, advertising and otherpromotional programs in which the dealer voluntarily participates;

 

(iv) To enter into any agreement with the manufacturer or toprejudice the new vehicle dealer by threatening to terminate or cancel afranchise or any contractual agreement existing between the dealer and themanufacturer. This paragraph does not preclude the manufacturer or distributorfrom insisting on compliance with the reasonable terms or provisions of thefranchise or other contractual agreement. Notice in good faith from amanufacturer or distributor to any new vehicle dealer of the new vehicledealer's violation of those terms or provisions does not constitute a violationof this act;

 

(v) To change the capital structure of the new vehicle dealeror the new vehicle dealer's financing means if the new vehicle dealer meets anyreasonable capital standards determined by the manufacturer in accordance withuniformly applied criteria. A new vehicle dealer may change its capitalstructure in accordance with reasonable capital standards if the change doesnot change the principal management or ownership in whole or in part or resultin the sale of the franchise. If a change in capital structure results in a saleof the franchise, the manufacturer or distributor may not unreasonably withholdany necessary consent to the change;

 

(vi) To refrain from participation in the management of,investment in or the acquisition of any other line of new vehicle or relatedproducts. This paragraph does not apply unless the new vehicle dealermaintains a reasonable line of credit for each make or line of new vehicle, thenew vehicle dealer remains in compliance with any reasonable facilities andother franchise requirements of the manufacturer and no change is made in theprincipal management of the new vehicle dealer;

 

(vii) To prospectively agree to relieve any person from liabilityimposed by this law or to require any controversy between a new vehicle dealerand a manufacturer, distributor or their representatives, to be referred to anyperson other than the duly constituted courts of the state or the UnitedStates, or to the director if the referral would be binding upon the newvehicle dealer;

 

(viii) To establish, after becoming a new vehicle dealer,exclusive facilities, personnel or display space for a line make when suchrequirements would not be justified by reasonable business considerations;

 

(ix) To expand facilities without making available a sufficientsupply of new vehicles to justify an expansion considering the market andeconomic conditions;

 

(x) To modify significantly an existing dealership or toconstruct a new vehicle dealership facility without a sufficient supply of newvehicles to justify a modification or construction considering the market andeconomic conditions.

 

(c) No manufacturer licensed under this act shall:

 

(i) Delay, refuse or fail to deliver new vehicles or newvehicle parts or accessories in a reasonable time and quantity relative to thenew vehicle dealer's facilities and sales potential in the new vehicle dealer'srelevant market area after acceptance of an order from a new vehicle dealerhaving a franchise for the retail sale of any new vehicle sold or distributedby the manufacturer, any new vehicle, parts or accessories to new vehicles asare covered by the franchise, if the vehicle, parts or accessories are publiclyadvertised as being available for delivery or actually delivered. Failurecaused by acts or causes beyond the control of the manufacturer is not aviolation of this act;

 

(ii) Refuse to disclose to any new vehicle dealer handling thesame line make the manner and mode of distribution of the line make within therelevant market area;

 

(iii) Without the consent of the dealer, obtain money, goods,services or other benefit from a person who does business with the new vehicledealer in relation to the transaction between the new vehicle dealer and theperson other than as compensation for services rendered and products provided,unless the benefit is promptly transmitted or credited to the new vehicledealer;

 

(iv) Increase prices of new vehicles ordered by the new vehicledealer for consumers prior to the new vehicle dealer's receipt of the writtenofficial price increase notification. A sales contract signed by a consumer isevidence of each order if the vehicle is delivered to the customer. In theevent of manufacturer price reductions or cash rebates paid to the new vehicledealer intended by the manufacturer to be passed on to the consumer, the amountof any reduction or rebate received by a new vehicle dealer passes to theprivate retail consumer by the new vehicle dealer. Price reductions apply toall unused, undamaged and unsold vehicles in the dealer's inventory which weresubject to the price reduction. Price differences applicable to a new model orseries are not a price increase or price decrease. Price changes caused by thefollowing are not subject to this paragraph:

 

(A) The addition to a vehicle of required or optional equipmentor a change in the capacity, performance, size, weight or design specificationsof a vehicle;

 

(B) Changes in the rate of exchange of the United Statesdollar, in the case of foreign-made vehicles or components; and

 

(C) An increase in transportation charges due to increasedrates imposed by a carrier.

 

(v) Release to any other party, except under subpoena or asotherwise required by law or in an administrative, judicial or arbitrationproceeding involving the manufacturer or new vehicle dealer, any business,financial, or personal information which is provided by the new vehicle dealerto the manufacturer without the express written consent of the new vehicledealer;

 

(vi) Deny any new vehicle dealer the right of free associationwith any other new vehicle dealer for any lawful purpose;

 

(vii) Unfairly compete with a new vehicle dealer in the same linemake and operating under an agreement or franchise from the manufacturer inthe relevant market area. A manufacturer is not competing when operating adealership either temporarily for a reasonable period or in a bona fide retailoperation which is for sale to any qualified independent person at a fair andreasonable price, or in a bona fide relationship in which an independent personhas made a significant investment subject to loss in the dealership and canreasonably expect to acquire full ownership of such dealership on reasonableterms and conditions;

 

(viii) Unfairly discriminate among its new vehicle dealers withrespect to warranty reimbursement;

 

(ix) Unreasonably withhold consent to the sale, transfer orexchange of the franchise to a qualified buyer capable of being licensed as anew vehicle dealer in this state;

 

(x) Fail to respond in writing to a request for consent asspecified in paragraph (ix) of this subsection within sixty (60) days ofreceipt of a written request. Failure to respond within the time specified isconsent to the request;

 

(xi) Prevent or attempt to prevent any new vehicle dealer fromchanging the executive management control of the new vehicle dealer unless themanufacturer shows the change of executive management will result in executivemanagement or control by a person who is not of good moral character or whodoes not meet reasonable, preexisting and, with consideration given to thevolume of sales and service of the dealership, uniformly applied minimumbusiness experience standards. This paragraph does not prevent a manufactureror distributor from withholding consent based upon the prospective buyer'scharacter, automotive experience, capital and other reasonable qualificationsfor appointment as a dealer, and the effect of the proposed transaction uponcompetition. If the manufacturer rejects a proposed change in executivemanagement control, written notice of his reasons shall be given to the dealerwithin sixty (60) days of notice to the manufacturer by the dealer of theproposed change or the change in the executive management of the new vehicledealer shall be presumptively deemed approved;

 

(xii) Terminate, cancel or fail to renew any franchise solelybecause of the death or incapacity of an owner who is not listed in thefranchise as one on whose expertise and abilities the manufacturer relied ingranting the franchise;

 

(xiii) Prevent or attempt to prevent the new vehicle dealer from receiving the fair market value of the dealership in a sale transaction or fromtransferring the new vehicle dealership to a spouse or legal heir as specifiedin this act;

 

(xiv) Engage in any predatory practice or discrimination againstany new vehicle dealer;

 

(xv) Use any false or misleading advertisement in the conduct ofhis business as a manufacturer or distributor in this state;

 

(xvi) Make any false or misleading statement, either directly orthrough any agent or employee, to induce any new vehicle dealer to enter intoany agreement or franchise.

 

(d) No manufacturer or any officer, agent or representativeshall coerce or attempt to coerce any new vehicle dealer in this state to sell,assign or transfer any retail installment sales contract obtained by the dealerin connection with the sale by him in this state of new vehicles manufacturedor sold by the manufacturer to a specified finance company, class of companiesor to any other specified person.

 

(e) Any statement, threats, promises, acts, contracts or offersof contracts which lessen or eliminate competition or tend to create amonopoly are unfair trade practices, unfair methods of competition and are prohibited.

 

(f) No manufacturer or agent or employee of a manufacturershall use a written instrument, agreement or waiver to attempt to nullify anyof the provisions of this section. Any such agreement, written instrument orwaiver is null and void.

 

(g) No person shall directly or indirectly impose unreasonablerestrictions on the new vehicle dealer relative to the sale, transfer, right torenew, termination, discipline, noncompetition covenants, site control (whetherby sublease, collateral pledge of lease, or otherwise), right of first refusalto purchase, option to purchase, compliance with subjective standards andassertion of legal or equitable rights.

 

(h) This act applies to all written franchise agreementsbetween a manufacturer and a new vehicle dealer, including but not limited to,the franchise offering, the franchise agreement, sales of goods, services oradvertising, promises to pay, security interests, pledges, insurance contracts,advertising contracts, construction or installation contracts, servicingcontracts and all other agreements where the manufacturer has any direct orindirect interest.

 

(j) No motor vehicle manufacturer or distributor licensed underthis act, directly or indirectly, shall offer to sell or sell new motorvehicles to a consumer except through a new vehicle dealer who holds a validsales and service agreement, franchise, or contract granted by themanufacturer, distributor or wholesaler for the sale of its motor vehicles.This subsection shall not apply to sales to affiliates of the manufacturer,distributor or wholesaler, sales to the federal government, charitableorganizations or sales to employees of the manufacturer, distributor orwholesaler.

 

31-16-109. Termination, cancellation or nonrenewal of franchise.

 

 

(a) Notwithstanding the terms, provisions or conditions of anyfranchise or waiver, no manufacturer shall cancel, terminate or fail to renewany franchise with a licensee unless the manufacturer has satisfied the noticerequirement of subsection (b) of this section and has good cause forcancellation, termination or nonrenewal.

 

(b) Prior to the termination, cancellation or nonrenewal of anyfranchise, the manufacturer shall furnish notification of termination,cancellation or nonrenewal to the department and the licensee:

 

(i) Not less than ninety (90) days prior to the effective dateof the termination, cancellation or nonrenewal;

 

(ii) Not less than fifteen (15) days prior to the effective dateof the termination, cancellation or nonrenewal with respect to any of thefollowing which shall constitute good cause for cancellation, termination ornonrenewal:

 

(A) Insolvency of the licensee, or filing of any petition by oragainst the licensee under any bankruptcy or receivership law;

 

(B) Failure of the licensee to conduct sales and serviceoperations during customary business hours for seven (7) consecutive businessdays, except for acts of God or circumstances beyond the direct control of thelicensee;

 

(C) Conviction of the dealer, or any owner or principal managerof the dealer in a court of original jurisdiction of a felony or any crimeinvolving theft, dishonesty or false statement;

 

(D) Revocation of any license which the licensee is required tohave to operate a dealership;

 

(E) A fraudulent misrepresentation by the new motor vehicledealer to the manufacturer, which is material to the franchise; or

 

(iii) Not less than one hundred eighty (180) days prior to theeffective date of the termination or cancellation, where the manufacturer isdiscontinuing the sale of the product line.

 

(c) Notification under this section shall be in writing, bycertified mail or personally delivered to the licensee and shall state theintention to terminate, cancel or not to renew the franchise, reasons for thetermination, cancellation or nonrenewal and the date on which the termination,cancellation or nonrenewal takes effect.

 

(d) Good cause for termination, cancellation or nonrenewal of afranchise shall include but not be limited to:

 

(i) Failure by the licensee to comply with a provision of thefranchise, which is both reasonable and of material significance to thefranchise relationship, provided that the dealer has been notified in writingof the failure within one hundred eighty (180) days prior to termination,cancellation or nonrenewal;

 

(ii) Failure of the licensee to comply with reasonableperformance criteria established by the manufacturer if the licensee wasapprised by the manufacturer in writing of the failure and:

 

(A) The notification stated that notice was provided of failureof performance pursuant to this section;

 

(B) The licensee was afforded a reasonable opportunity, for aperiod of not less than six (6) months, to comply with the criteria; and

 

(C) The licensee did not demonstrate substantial compliancewith the performance criteria of the manufacturer during such period.

 

(e) Within twenty (20) days of receiving the notice or withintwenty (20) days after the end of any appeal procedure provided by themanufacturer, the dealer may file with the department to protest thetermination, cancellation or nonrenewal. When a protest is filed, thedepartment shall inform the manufacturer that a timely protest has been filed.The manufacturer shall have twenty (20) days to respond to the protest. Themanufacturer shall not terminate, cancel or nonrenew the franchise until thedepartment has held a hearing and determined that there is good cause forpermitting the termination, cancellation or nonrenewal.

 

(f) The department will select a hearing examiner to conduct ahearing and to render proposed findings of fact. The proposed findings of factshall be conclusive unless clearly erroneous and unsupported by the record. The hearing shall be conducted and the department shall render its finaldetermination within one hundred twenty (120) days after the manufacturerresponds to the licensee's protest. The department may forbid the termination,cancellation or nonrenewal of the franchise if it is determined good cause doesnot exist.

 

(g) All costs of the department, including but not limited to,the cost of the investigation, the cost of the hearing examiner and the cost ofpreparing the record, shall be borne equally by the parties. The departmentmay, in its discretion, award costs to the prevailing party in any hearing heldpursuant to this chapter provided, however, if the department should determineby a preponderance of the evidence, that the protest is without merit, it shallaward costs and reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party.

 

(h) The manufacturer shall have the burden of proof under thissection.

 

(j) Upon the termination, nonrenewal or cancellation of anyfranchise by the manufacturer pursuant to this section, the licensee shall beallowed fair and reasonable compensation by the manufacturer for the:

 

(i) New vehicle inventory which is unused, undamaged, unsoldand acquired from the manufacturer within the prior twelve (12) months andprior to the dealer receiving notice of termination;

 

(ii) Supplies and parts which are unused, undamaged, unsold andin original packaging and have been acquired from the manufacturer prior to thedealer receiving notice of termination and are listed in the manufacturer'scurrent parts catalog or price list;

 

(iii) Equipment and furnishings purchased from the manufactureror its approved sources in order to comply with the dealer's obligations underthe franchise; and

 

(iv) Special tools acquired from the manufacturer or a sourceapproved by the manufacturer which were recommended by the manufacturer inwriting and are in good and usable condition, except for reasonable wear andtear.

 

(k) Fair and reasonable compensation under subsection (j) ofthis section shall be paid or credited by the manufacturer within ninety (90)days of the tender of the property, provided the licensee has clear title tothe inventory and other items and is in a position to convey that title to themanufacturer.

 

(m) In the event of a termination, cancellation or nonrenewalby the manufacturer under this section, except as provided in subparagraph(b)(ii)(C) of this section, the manufacturer shall pay:

 

(i) A sum equivalent to rent of the unexpired term of the leaseor one (1) year rent based upon reasonable rental value, whichever is less, ifthe motor vehicle dealer is leasing its motor vehicle dealership facility froma lessor other than manufacturers or distributors; or

 

(ii) A sum equivalent to reasonable rental value of thedealership facility for one (1) year or the reasonable rental value of thefacility until facilities are leased or sold, whichever is less, if the motorvehicle dealer owns the motor vehicle dealer facility.

 

(n) The rental payment required under subsection (m) of thissection is only required to the extent that the facilities were used for thesale and service of the manufacturer's or distributor's product, and only tothe extent they are not leased for other purposes. Payment under subsection(k) of this section entitles the manufacturer or distributor to possession anduse of the facility.

 

(o) This section shall not relieve a new motor vehicle dealer,lessor or other owner of an established place of business from the obligationto mitigate damages.

 

31-16-110. Succession to franchise ownership.

 

 

(a) Notwithstanding the terms, provisions or conditions of anyfranchise:

 

(i) Any owner or a licensee may appoint by will, or any otherwritten instrument, a designated family member to succeed in the ownershipinterest of the owner in the new vehicle dealer;

 

(ii) Unless there exists good cause for refusal to honorsuccession by the manufacturer, any designated family member of a deceased orincapacitated owner of a new vehicle dealer may succeed to the ownership of thenew vehicle dealer under the existing franchise if:

 

(A) The designated family member gives the manufacturer writtennotice of intent to succeed to the ownership of the new vehicle dealer withinthirty (30) days of the owner's death or incapacity; and

 

(B) The designated family member agrees to be bound by all theterms and conditions of the franchise.

 

(iii) The manufacturer may request and the designated familymember shall promptly provide personal and financial data reasonably necessaryto determine whether the succession should be honored;

 

(iv) If a manufacturer believes good cause exists for refusingto honor the succession to the ownership of a new vehicle dealer by a familymember of a deceased or incapacitated owner of a new vehicle dealer under theexisting franchise agreement, the manufacturer may serve upon the designatedfamily member and the department notice of its refusal to honor the successionand of its intent to discontinue the existing franchise with the dealer nosooner than sixty (60) days from the date the notice is served. The notice mayonly be served not more than sixty (60) days following receipt of:

 

(A) Notice of the designated family member's intent to succeedto the ownership of the new vehicle dealer; or

 

(B) Any personal or financial data which it has requested.

 

(v) The notice in paragraph (iv) of this subsection shall statethe specific grounds for the refusal to honor the succession and of its intentto discontinue the existing franchise with the new vehicle dealer no soonerthan sixty (60) days from the date the notice is served;

 

(vi) If notice of refusal and discontinuance is not timelyserved upon the family member, the franchise shall continue in effect subjectto termination only as otherwise permitted under this act;

 

(vii) Within twenty (20) days of receiving the notice after theend of any appeal procedure provided by the manufacturer, the designated familymember may file with the department to protest the refusal to honor thesuccessor. When such a protest is filed, the department shall inform themanufacturer that a timely protest has been filed and the manufacturer hassixty (60) days to respond to the protest after actually being informed by thedepartment of the protest. The manufacturer shall not terminate or discontinuethe existing franchise until the department has held a hearing under theWyoming Administrative Procedure Act and determined that there is good causefor not permitting the succession. All hearing costs shall be borne asprescribed under W.S. 31-16-109(g);

 

(viii) In determining whether good cause for the refusal to honorthe succession exists, the manufacturer or importer has the burden of proof;

 

(ix) This act does not preclude the owner of a new vehicledealer from designating any person as his successor by written instrument filedwith the manufacturer. If there is a conflict between the written instrumentand this section and the written instrument has not been revoked by the ownerof the new dealer in writing to the manufacturer the written instrument shallgovern;

 

(x) As used in this section, "manufacturer" includesa manufacturer, a distributor, a factory branch, distributor branch or otherrepresentative.

 

31-16-111. Limitations on establishing or relocating new vehicledealers.

 

 

(a) If a manufacturer seeks to enter into a franchiseestablishing an additional new vehicle dealer or relocating an existing newvehicle dealer within a radius of ten (10) miles from where the same line makeis then represented the manufacturer shall in writing notify the department andeach new vehicle dealer in that line make within a ten (10) mile radius of theintention to establish an additional dealer or to relocate an existing dealerwithin the ten (10) mile radius. Within twenty (20) days of receiving the noticeor within twenty (20) days after the end of any appeal procedure provided bythe manufacturer, any new vehicle dealer notified may file with the departmentto protest the establishing or relocating of the new vehicle dealer. When aprotest is filed, the department shall inform the manufacturer that a timelyprotest has been filed, and the manufacturer has forty-five (45) days torespond to the protest. The manufacturer shall not establish or relocate theproposed new vehicle dealer until the department has held a hearing under theWyoming Administrative Procedure Act, nor thereafter, if the department hasdetermined that there is good cause for not permitting the addition orrelocation of the new vehicle dealer which determination shall be made within sixty(60) days of receipt by the department of the response to the protest from themanufacturer. All hearing costs shall be borne as prescribed in W.S.31-16-109(g).

 

(b) This section does not apply:

 

(i) To the relocation of an existing new vehicle dealer withinthat dealer's relevant market area, provided that the relocation not be at asite within seven (7) miles of a new vehicle dealer for the same line make ofvehicle;

 

(ii) If the proposed new vehicle dealer is to be established ator within two (2) miles of a location at which a former new vehicle dealer forthe same line make had ceased operating within the previous two (2) years;

 

(iii) To the reopening of a new vehicle dealer who temporarilyhas been out of business;

 

(iv) If the protesting new vehicle dealer has not established tothe department that he:

 

(A) Is a licensed new motor vehicle dealer of the same linemake located within ten (10) miles of the proposed location of the additionalnew vehicle dealer or of the proposed relocation site of an existing newvehicle dealer;

 

(B) Is providing facilities, equipment, parts, capital andpersonnel in substantial compliance with its contractual obligations to themanufacturer; and

 

(C) Has attained in the last three (3) years sales penetrationfor the manufacturer in his area of responsibility that is equal to or greaterthan the average penetration of all same line make new vehicle dealers in thestate; or

 

(v) Where the relocation is two (2) miles or less from theexisting location of the relocating new vehicle dealer.

 

(c) In determining whether good cause has been established fornot ent

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