Athey’s Bill to Help Virginia’s Auto Dealers Passes House

Hometown Car Dealership Protection Bill to Assist Motor Vehicle Dealers Advances to State Senate

Richmond, Wednesday February 11, 2009 – Del. Clifford “Clay” Athey, Jr. (R-Warren) , Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee , announced that his bill to assist statewide community motor vehicle dealers passed 98-0 in the House of Delegates and will go on to the Virginia State Senate.

The following is a summary of HB -1778:

HB 1778 Motor vehicle dealers; coercion.  Revises and clarifies responsibilities of manufacturers toward motor vehicle dealers in the event of termination of a dealer franchise.

By the end of this year General Motors is expected to terminate over 5,000 of their 7,500 existing dealerships in North America. Every job related to the auto industry in Virginia will be affected by the Detroit Three auto manufacturer’s plans to eliminate auto line makes like Saturn (Chevy), Chrysler, and Ford (Mercury) as well as many others throughout the nation. Some auto parts manufacturer’s plants as well as our hometown car dealerships will be forced to close or dramatically reduce their workforce.

“My HB 1778 ensures that a small part of the Federal bailout money GM, Ford, and Chrysler received last month will be shared with Virginia car dealerships which may be forced to close their doors because the cars they sell and service will no longer be manufactured. This bill provides them a way to attract other manufacturers to replace the Detroit Three saving local jobs.

Protecting home town dealerships and their employees should be our top priority in this time of economic uncertainty not bailing out the corporate CEO’s in Detroit whose bad decisions have brought the domestic auto industry to its knees,” noted Delegate Athey.

“I look forward to moving this Hometown Car Dealership Protection Bill through the State Senate and the Governor’s desk in spite of the opposition of the Detroit Three,” Athey said.

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