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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XV REGULATION OF TRADE
  • CHAPTER 93B REGULATION OF BUSINESS PRACTICES BETWEEN MOTOR VEHICLE MANUFACTURERS, DISTRIBUTORS AND DEALERS
  • Section 1 Definitions

Section 1. As used in this chapter the following words shall have the following meanings:

“Boundary”, the property line of the address of the principal new motor vehicle sales facility approved by the manufacturer or distributor in the franchise agreement and utilized by a dealership of a specific line make; or in the case of a proposed new location, the property line of the address of the principal new motor vehicle sales facility that is intended to be used by the proposed new person or the relocating existing dealer.

“Dealer”, “motor vehicle dealer” or “dealership”, any person who, in the ordinary course of its business, is engaged in the business of selling new motor vehicles to consumers or other end users pursuant to a franchise agreement and who has obtained a class 1 license pursuant to the provisions of section 58 and 59 of chapter 140. It shall not include: (1) receivers, trustees, administrators, executors, guardians, or other persons appointed by or acting under judgment, decree or order of any court, or (2) public officers while performing their duties as such officers.

“Distributor”, any person who is not a manufacturer or a motor vehicle dealer, and who sells or distributes new and unused motor vehicles to motor vehicle dealers within the commonwealth or to any wholesaler who in turn sells or distributes such vehicles to motor vehicle dealers within the commonwealth; or any branch office or division maintained by any of such persons for directing and supervising their franchisor representatives.

“Dual” or “dualing”, a motor vehicle dealer occupying and conducting business operations for one line make of new motor vehicles which is located in the dealership facilities described in the franchise agreement as dedicated, wholly or in part, to the operations governed by the franchise agreement, and from which it conducts its business operations for another line make of new motor vehicles.

“Former franchisee”, a dealer that has either: (i) entered into a termination agreement or a deferred termination agreement with a predecessor or successor manufacturer related to the franchise; or (ii) had the franchise canceled, terminated, nonrenewed, noncontinued, rejected, nonassumed or otherwise ended by the predecessor or successor manufacturer.

“Franchise” or “franchise agreement”, an oral or written arrangement for a definite or indefinite period in which a manufacturer or distributor grants to a motor vehicle dealer a license to use a trade name, service mark, or related characteristic, and in which there is a community of interest in the marketing of new motor vehicles or services related thereto at wholesale, retail, leasing, or otherwise.

“Franchisor representative”, a person employed by a manufacturer or distributor for the purpose of promoting the sale of new motor vehicles or for supervising, servicing, instructing or contracting motor vehicle dealers or prospective motor vehicle dealers; and any officer, agent or other authorized representative of a manufacturer or distributor.

“Line make”, a collection of models, series or groups of motor vehicles manufactured by or for a particular manufacturer, distributor or importer that is offered for sale, lease or distribution under a common brand name or mark; provided, however, that: (i) multiple brand names or marks may constitute a single line make, but only when included in a common dealer agreement and the manufacturer, distributor or importer offers such vehicles bearing the multiple names or marks together only, and not separately, to its authorized dealers; and (ii) motor vehicles that share a common brand name or mark may constitute separate line makes when such vehicles are of different vehicle types or are intended for different types of use, provided that either: (i) the manufacturer has expressly defined or covered the line makes of vehicles as separate and distinct line makes in the applicable dealer agreements; or (ii) the manufacturer has consistently characterized the vehicles as constituting separate and distinct line makes to its dealer networks.

“Manufacturer”, any person engaged in the business of manufacturing or assembling new and unused motor vehicles; any person holding majority ownership in any person encompassed within this definition of the term “manufacturer”; or any branch office or division maintained by the person for directing and supervising a franchisor representative.

“Motor vehicle”, any motor driven vehicle or house trailer required to be registered under chapter 90 regardless of curb weight or required to be registered under sections 20 to 35, inclusive, of chapter 90B having a curb weight of not more than 1,000 pounds, or a truck camper.

“New motor vehicle”, a motor vehicle which has not been previously sold to any person except a manufacturer, distributor or motor vehicle dealer for resale.

“Person”, a natural person, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, trust or other entity.

“Powersport vehicle”, any motor vehicle defined as a motorcycle or motorized bicycle by section 1 of chapter 90 and required to be registered under chapter 90 regardless of curb weight or any motor vehicle required to be registered under sections 20 to 35, inclusive, of chapter 90B having a curb weight of not more than 1,000 pounds.

“Recreational vehicle”, a motor vehicle defined as an auto home or house trailer by section 1 of chapter 90 and required to be registered under chapter 90, or a truck camper.

“Relevant market area”, the geographic area surrounding the boundary of a dealership, determined as follows:

(1) If all boundaries of a dealership located in the counties of Bristol, Essex, Hampden, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth or Suffolk are 8 or more miles from the border of the counties of Barnstable, Berkshire, Dukes, Franklin, Hampshire, Nantucket and Worcester, then the geographic area shall be the entire land mass encompassed in a circle with a radius of 8 miles from any boundary of the dealership.

(2) If all boundaries of a dealership located in the counties of Barnstable, Berkshire, Dukes, Franklin, Hampshire, Nantucket or Worcester are 14 or more miles from the border of the counties of Bristol, Essex, Hampden, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk, then the geographic area shall be the entire land mass encompassed in a circle with a radius of 14 miles from any boundary of the dealership.

(3) For all dealerships in the commonwealth which are not included within paragraphs (1) or (2), inclusive, of this definition, the geographic area shall be a land mass comprised of circular arc segments with a radius of 8 miles from any boundary of the dealership for the arc segments that fall within the counties of Bristol, Essex, Hampden, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk; and with a radius of 14 miles from any boundary of the dealership for the arc segments that fall within the counties of Barnstable, Berkshire, Dukes, Franklin, Hampshire, Nantucket and Worcester.

(4) For any motor vehicle dealer who deals in whole or in part in powersport vehicles, notwithstanding subparagraphs (1), (2) and (3), the geographic area shall be the entire land mass encompassed in a circle with a radius of 20 miles from any boundary of the dealership for that part of the dealership which deals in said powersport vehicles.

(5) For any motor vehicle dealer who deals in whole or in part in recreational vehicles, notwithstanding subparagraphs (1), (2), (3) and (4), the geographic area shall be the greater of the entire land mass encompassed in a circle with a radius of 25 miles from any boundary of the dealership or the area of responsibility of the dealer as defined in the franchise agreement or the combination of the 25 miles boundary and the area of responsibility for that part of the dealership which deals in recreational vehicles.

(6) For the purposes of this chapter, a radius measurement shall be drawn from the closest boundary of the existing dealership to the closest boundary of the site for the proposed dealership or relocation.

“Sale” or “sell”, the issuance, transfer, agreement for transfer, exchange, pledge, hypothecation, mortgage in any form, whether by transfer in trust or otherwise, or lease of any motor vehicle or interest therein or of any franchise related thereto; and any option, subscription or other contract, or solicitation, looking to a sale, offer or attempt to sell, or lease in any form, whether spoken or written. The delivery or gift, for any purpose including as a bonus, of a motor vehicle or franchise interest, shall be considered a sale of the motor vehicle or franchise interest.