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What auto dealers should know about Florida’s dealer protection law

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  4.  » What auto dealers should know about Florida’s dealer protection law

In 2017, Florida passed the dealership protection act to shield auto dealers from unreasonable franchise standards. Specifically, manufacturers may not enforce sales or require facility renovation more than once in a decade.

Review the provisions of the dealership protection act to understand your rights and responsibilities as an auto dealer in Florida.

Renovation limits

For the first time, dealers have 10 years to comply with required manufacturer renovations. If they successfully comply with these standards, the automaker cannot require a franchised dealership to make more renovations within the next 10 years.

Incentive programs

The law also ended the practice of tying incentive programs for dealerships to optional renovations. Under the act, automakers must keep incentive programs available without a new renovation for a certain grace period for dealer franchises that have already completed a renovation within 10 years.

Sales standards

This portion of the act mirrored similar provisions that passed in Maryland. Automakers can no longer hold dealers in Florida to unrealistic sales metrics that do not account for regional and local differences in vehicle sales. When a manufacturer enforces sanctions for an underperforming dealership, they must provide a written explanation of how they arrived at the negative rating, with standard criteria used across dealerships along with localized sales targets.

The Florida Senate unanimously passed the bill, which the Florida Automobile Dealers Association endorsed as a dealer-friendly law that supports small dealers by preventing unfair practices by auto manufacturers. You can file a claim if these practices have impacted the profitability of your franchise and resulted in financial loss.