<p>Donna Gaudet Hosmer, immediate past NHADA chair, Governor Maggie Hassan, and Peter J. McNamara, NHADA president. Photos by Nat Stout, NHADA</p>CONCORD, N.J. — New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan signed off on legislation today that will limit auto manufacturers’ facility upgrades to no more than every 15 years. This is one provision accepted into the amendment of the New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association (NHADA)’s Dealer Bill of Rights.

“I greatly appreciate the important role that New Hampshire’s vehicle and equipment dealers play in our state’s economy. This updated law provides a more level playing field between national manufacturers and the men and women of New Hampshire who work so hard in our vehicle and equipment sales industry,” Hassan wrote in an e-mailed statement. “Local control is a hallmark of New Hampshire, and this law will bring an end to unfair practices in the industry.”

With Senate Bill 126’s passage, dealers will “buy local,” which means manufacturers are now restricted from mandating that dealers use out-of-state contractors for work. The new law also ensures proper reimbursement for warranty work completed by dealers, which the NHADA believes will end a “longstanding practice by many manufacturers to refuse to pay for their own mistakes.” And SB 126 will require OEMs to provide dealers with “dealer files” on their operations, which gives transparency in incentive programs, market area changes and performance reports.

“This law will keep dealers competitive in the region, and it will better ensure that decisions  made by manufacturers don’t do harm to local businesses or consumers,” the NHADA President Pete  McNamara said in a release about the new legislation. “This law is a result of bipartisan cooperation and I want to thank lawmakers for recognizing a problem that needed to be corrected.”

Colorado legislators recently passed similar legislation that levels the playing field between dealers and their OEMs.

—Stephanie Forshee