Assembly Auto Franchise Plan Is ‘Anti-Consumer’ and ‘Anti-Business’
Washington, DC – The heads of North American operations for seven global automakers headquartered in New Jersey today sent a letter to Senate President Steven Sweeney detailing their opposition to auto franchise legislation expected to be heard in a Senate committee tomorrow.
“If passed into law, Assembly Bill 2035 and its Senate companion – Senate Bill 927 – would create the most onerous, anti-consumer, anti-business auto franchise regulations in the country,” wrote the North American heads of BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Ferrari, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, and Volvo Cars – all based in New Jersey.
New Jersey is currently the East Coast home to the U.S. auto industry. In addition to seven company headquarters, New Jersey is home to countless regional sales offices, finance centers, parts distribution facilities, and port operations. Collectively, auto manufacturers directly employ 4,000 individuals in over 30 facilities in the state, and their operations impact more than 145,000 New Jersey jobs. In 2010 alone, auto-related taxes and fees made up 10 percent, or $2.69 billion, of the state’s tax revenue.
Automakers have also invested heavily in New Jersey port operations. According to new federal government data, overall automaker activity at New Jersey ports rose 16 percent in 2013 over the previous year. Light vehicle-related total imports climbed 12 percent, and light vehicle-related total exports rose a whopping 51 percent.
“SB 927 devalues these significant automaker investments in New Jersey and has the potential to influence future market decisions within a very competitive industry,” wrote the group. “It unfairly restricts automaker input into how the very products we make are presented, marketed, and sold and upends any balance that currently remains between manufacturers and franchised dealers in the state we currently call home.”
Automakers warn that if SB 927 is passed as reported by the Assembly, these changes could not only have a significant negative impact on their in-state operations and the business climate in New Jersey for years to come, but also negatively impact New Jersey consumers.
A copy of the letter follows.
The Association of Global Automakers represents international motor vehicle manufacturers, original equipment suppliers, and other automotive-related trade associations. We work with industry leaders, legislators, and regulators to create the kind of public policy that improves vehicle safety, encourages technological innovation, and protects our planet. Our goal is to foster a competitive environment in which more vehicles are designed and built to enhance Americans’ quality of life. For more information, visit www.globalautomakers.org.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is an association of 12 vehicle manufacturers including BMW Group, Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz USA, Mitsubishi Motors, Porsche, Toyota, Volkswagen Group of America and Volvo Cars North America.
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