§ 63-17-116. Relevant market areas established for new motor vehicle dealers in counties having certain populations; notice to same line-make motor vehicle dealer in relevant market area required; standing to object to additional franchise agreements; factors for determining good cause for additional new motor vehicle dealer.
- For purposes of this section, "relevant market area" means:
- For a proposed new motor vehicle dealer or a new motor vehicle dealer who plans to relocate his or her place of business in a county having a population which is greater than sixty thousand (60,000), the area within a radius of ten (10) miles of the intended site of the proposed or relocated dealer. The ten-mile distance shall be determined by measuring the distance between the nearest surveyed boundary of the existing new motor vehicle dealer's principal place of business and the nearest surveyed boundary line of the proposed or relocated new motor vehicle dealer's principal place of business; or
- For a proposed new motor vehicle dealer or a new motor vehicle dealer who plans to relocate his or her place of business in a county having a population which is sixty thousand (60,000) or less, the area within radius of fifteen (15) miles of the intended site of the proposed or relocated dealer, or the county line, whichever is closer to the intended site. The fifteen-mile distance shall be determined by measuring the distance between the nearest surveyed boundary line of the existing new motor vehicle dealer's principal place of business and the nearest surveyed boundary line of the proposed or relocated new motor vehicle dealer's principal place of business.
- As used in this section, "relocate" and "relocation" shall not include the relocation of a new motor vehicle dealer within two (2) miles of its established place of business.
- Before a franchisor enters into a franchise establishing or relocating a new motor vehicle dealer within a relevant market area where the same line-make is represented, the franchisor shall give written notice to each new motor vehicle dealer of the same line-make in the relevant market area of its intent to establish an additional dealer or to relocate an existing dealer within that relevant market area.
- Within sixty (60) days after receiving the notice provided for in subsection (3) of this section, or within sixty (60) days after the end of any appeal or alternative dispute resolution procedure provided by the franchisor, a new motor vehicle dealer may file a verified complaint before the Mississippi Motor Vehicle Commission pursuant to Section 63-17-91 to determine whether good cause exists for the establishing or relocating of a proposed new motor vehicle dealer. The Mississippi Motor Vehicle Commission shall render a decision on the verified complaint within sixty (60) days of its filing. If the commission fails to render its decision within the sixty-day time period, either party may file an appeal pursuant to Section 63-17-99, and the court will conduct a hearing and take evidence, both oral and documentary, in the place of the Mississippi Motor Vehicle Commission and shall render a decision utilizing the factors set forth in subsection (7).
- This section shall not apply to:
- The reopening or replacement in a relevant market area of a closed dealership that has been closed within the preceding two (2) years, if the established place of business of the reopened or replacement dealer is within two (2) miles of the established place of business of the closed dealership.
- The entering into of a renewal, replacement, or succeeding franchise agreement with an existing motor vehicle dealer whose operations will continue at the dealer's then current location; or
- The relocation of an existing or replacement dealer to a location within the existing or replacement dealer's own relevant market area if the proposed new location is not within a six-mile radius of any other same line-make motor vehicle dealer.
- Only a dealer into whose relevant market area the proposed new franchise or relocated dealer will be located shall have standing to object to the additional franchise agreement or relocation or to take any other action under this chapter with respect to the proposed appointment or relocation. Such a dealer may not protest the relocation of an existing dealer or the establishment of a replacement dealer if the proposed location is further away from the dealer than the relocating or replacement dealer's current or former location.
- In determining whether good cause exists for establishing or relocating an additional new motor vehicle dealer for the same line-make, the Mississippi Motor Vehicle Commission shall take into consideration the existing circumstances including, but not limited to, the following:
- Permanency of the investment;
- Effect on the retail motor vehicle business and the consuming public in the relevant market area;
- Whether it is injurious or beneficial to the public welfare;
- Whether the new motor vehicle dealers of the same line-make in that relevant market area are providing adequate competition and convenient consumer care for the motor vehicles of that line-make in the market area, including the adequacy of motor vehicle sales and qualified service personnel;
- Whether the establishment or relocation of the new motor vehicle dealer in the relevant market area would promote competition;
- Growth or decline of the population and the number of new motor vehicle registrations in the relevant market area;
- Effect on the relocating dealer and the franchisor of a denial of the establishment of a new dealer in, or a relocation of a dealer into, the relevant market area; and
- Effect on the objecting dealer of the relocation or establishment of a new proposed franchise location.
SOURCES: Laws, 2006, ch. 432, § 1, eff from and after July 1, 2006.