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Motor Dealers

At Macpherson Kelley, we have good reason to follow the industry closely: motor dealers form one of our key industry groups. Our dedicated team of lawyers works closely with Motor Dealers to improve dealership profit by making sales stick, reducing the risk of building cost blowouts and minimising staff disruptions.

We understand that the Automotive industry is highly competitive where margins are tight; with this comes unique legal, regulatory and business issues.

In any year, we will be involved in up to a dozen buy/sell transactions for motor dealers. We know the traps and how to get the deal successfully over the line and can help dealers grow or divest in accordance with their strategic plan.

We have also seen some automotive manufacturers try to undermine local motor dealerships by setting unreachable sales targets, restricting dealers from having multiple brands and threatening to not renew Dealership Agreements. Our team at Macpherson Kelley have assisted with disputing the validity of sales targets and negotiating or dealing with manufacturers requirements on the Dealer’s behalf.

We can reduce and manage risk through effective debt collecting, recovering vehicles from wholesalers in administration, getting your affairs in order before selling or purchasing a dealership and in succession planning to ensure your empire has a solid future.

Brands we act for include: BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Holden, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, Skoda, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.

Recent Experience

Motor dealer – Succession planning

Worked with the second generation of a family in relation to structuring the ownership and control of their business and family “constitution” in order to: protect the business asset from unwanted in-law family challenges; maintain blood-line controlled; document rules and structures through shareholders agreements and trust provisions; advise on and document succession and personal roles; advise and establishing structures to commence involvement and inclusion of third generation; assist with family constitution and interrelated personal aspects (eg. ensuring personal investment structures, binding financial agreements and wills are in place).

Motor dealer councils - Advice

Advised various dealer councils (on behalf of their members) as to the terms of new Dealer Agreements proposed by the manufacturers. Advised on what is usual, unreasonable or of significant risk and then represented the dealer council to negotiate changes to the proposed Dealer Agreement.

Understanding franchising, but additionally with a deep appreciation of the particular concerns of dealers, we were well placed to explain concerns and suggest compromises to the manufacturers.

Continue to provide as hoc advice to the council in relation to policies and directives of the manufacturer and to assist the council itself comply with obligations in relation to meetings, governance and constitution changes.

Areas of expertise

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