2015 Wyoming Code
TITLE 31 - MOTOR VEHICLES
CHAPTER 16 - MOTOR VEHICLE FRANCHISES
SECTION 31-16-110. - Succession to franchise ownership.
31-16-110. Succession to franchise ownership.
(a) Notwithstanding the terms, provisions or conditions of any franchise:
(i) Any owner or a licensee may appoint by will, or any other written instrument, a designated family member to succeed in the ownership interest of the owner in the new vehicle dealer;
(ii) Unless there exists good cause for refusal to honor succession by the manufacturer, any designated family member of a deceased or incapacitated owner of a new vehicle dealer may succeed to the ownership of the new vehicle dealer under the existing franchise if:
(A) The designated family member gives the manufacturer written notice of intent to succeed to the ownership of the new vehicle dealer within thirty (30) days of the owner's death or incapacity; and
(B) The designated family member agrees to be bound by all the terms and conditions of the franchise.
(iii) The manufacturer may request and the designated family member shall promptly provide personal and financial data reasonably necessary to determine whether the succession should be honored;
(iv) If a manufacturer believes good cause exists for refusing to honor the succession to the ownership of a new vehicle dealer by a family member of a deceased or incapacitated owner of a new vehicle dealer under the existing franchise agreement, the manufacturer may serve upon the designated family member and the department notice of its refusal to honor the succession and of its intent to discontinue the existing franchise with the dealer no sooner than sixty (60) days from the date the notice is served. The notice may only be served not more than sixty (60) days following receipt of:
(A) Notice of the designated family member's intent to succeed to the ownership of the new vehicle dealer; or
(B) Any personal or financial data which it has requested.
(v) The notice in paragraph (iv) of this subsection shall state the specific grounds for the refusal to honor the succession and of its intent to discontinue the existing franchise with the new vehicle dealer no sooner than sixty (60) days from the date the notice is served;
(vi) If notice of refusal and discontinuance is not timely served upon the family member, the franchise shall continue in effect subject to termination only as otherwise permitted under this act;
(vii) Within twenty (20) days of receiving the notice after the end of any appeal procedure provided by the manufacturer, the designated family member may file with the department to protest the refusal to honor the successor. When such a protest is filed, the department shall inform the manufacturer that a timely protest has been filed and the manufacturer has sixty (60) days to respond to the protest after actually being informed by the department of the protest. The manufacturer shall not terminate or discontinue the existing franchise until the department has held a hearing under the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act and determined that there is good cause for not permitting the succession. All hearing costs shall be borne as prescribed under W.S. 31-16-109(g);
(viii) In determining whether good cause for the refusal to honor the succession exists, the manufacturer or importer has the burden of proof;
(ix) This act does not preclude the owner of a new vehicle dealer from designating any person as his successor by written instrument filed with the manufacturer. If there is a conflict between the written instrument and this section and the written instrument has not been revoked by the owner of the new dealer in writing to the manufacturer the written instrument shall govern;
(x) As used in this section, "manufacturer" includes a manufacturer, a distributor, a factory branch, distributor branch or other representative.
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