§ 63-17-111. Owner of dealership may appoint successor by written agreement; manufacturer or dealer must honor succession unless good cause shown; procedure for refusing to honor succession.
- Notwithstanding the terms of any franchise agreement, any dealer-operator may appoint by will, or other written instrument, a designated successor to succeed in the ownership of the dealer-operator in the dealership upon the death or incapacity of the dealer-operator.
- Unless good cause exists for the refusal to honor the succession on the part of the manufacturer or distributor, any designated successor of a deceased or incapacitated dealer-operator of a dealership may succeed to the ownership of the motor vehicle dealership under the existing franchise agreement if:
- The designated successor gives the manufacturer or distributor written notice of his or her intention to succeed to the ownership of the motor vehicle dealership within sixty (60) days after the dealer-operator's death or incapacity; and
- The designated successor agrees to be bound by all the terms and conditions of the franchise agreement.
- The manufacturer or distributor may request, and the designated successor shall provide promptly upon such request, personal and financial data reasonably necessary to determine whether the succession should be honored.
- If the manufacturer or distributor believes that good cause exists for refusing to honor the succession of a deceased or incapacitated dealer, the manufacturer or distributor may, not more than sixty (60) days following receipt of the notice of the designated successor's intent to succeed and receipt of such personal and financial data, serve upon the designated successor notice of its refusal to honor the proposed succession and of its intent to terminate the existing franchise with the dealer-operator not earlier than six (6) months from the date such notice of refusal is served.
- Such notice shall state the specific grounds for the refusal to honor the succession.
- If such notice is not timely served upon the designated successor, the franchise agreement shall continue in effect subject to termination only as otherwise provided by the Mississippi Motor Vehicle Commission Law.
- In determining whether good cause for the refusal to honor the succession exists, the manufacturer or distributor has the burden of proving that the designated successor is not of good moral character or does not otherwise meet the manufacturer's or distributor's reasonable standards for a dealer-operator.
- If a manufacturer or distributor refuses to honor the succession to the ownership interest of a deceased or incapacitated dealer-operator for good cause, the manufacturer or distributor shall allow the designated successor a reasonable period of time, which shall not be less than six (6) months, in which to consummate the sale of the dealership.
SOURCES: Laws, 2000, ch. 418, § 3, eff from and after July 1, 2000.