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John Deere Files Injunction to Halt N.H. Dealer-Protection Bill

September 3, 2013

By Stephanie Forshee

CONCORD, N.H. — Two months after New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan signed into law an amended Dealer Bill of Rights, John Deere filed an injunction to halt the new bill from going into effect later this month.

John Deere, along with other heavy equipment manufacturers AgCo and Case New Holland, said Senate Bill 126 — a law that limits manufacturers’ facility upgrades to no more than every 15 years and places an emphasis on buying local — wrongfully groups their companies with auto manufacturers.

“It represents an unprecedented level of regulation for our industry and jeopardizes Deere’s ability to do business in New Hampshire by voiding many of the provisions of our dealer agreements,” Ken Golden, director of global public relations for Deere, told the Associated Press last week.

Golden did not respond to requests for comment.

New Hampshire Auto Dealers Association President Pete McNamara argued that the injunction is unfounded. “The claims are inaccurate, and we predict a judge will reject this request to throw out the law,” he said in an e-mailed statement.

McNamara continued by claiming franchise issues “are similar, if not identical, regardless of the type of product the dealer sells at retail.”

He charged other manufacturer groups with misinterpreting the new law, saying the law will not require equipment manufacturers break existing contracts with dealers. Nor does the law require manufacturers and dealer disputes be settled by the New Hampshire Motor Vehicle Industry Board, rather through arbitration as it currently does, he continued.

“We stand for business owners, the public and with the governor and the legislature in saying this law is good for New Hampshire,” McNamara wrote.

Gov. Maggie Hassan’s office did not respond to comment to address any possibility of revisiting the bill.

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