Harley-Davidson dealer wins dispute over out-of-area sales

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Harley-Davidson is doing their best to stop U.S. dealers from selling outside their territories.

With our favourable exchange rate, many Canadians are shopping for motorcycles or accessories in the U.S.; however, as we’ve told you before, Harley-Davidson tells their dealers not to sell outside their local territories.

Not only does that mean their U.S. dealers aren’t supposed to sell to Canada, they’re not even supposed to sell to other regions of the U.S., and they’re also barred from third-party Internet sales through sites like Amazon and eBay. They’re supposed to sell to a certain geographic location, and if they don’t play by those rules, they can lose their dealer contract.

California-based dealer Laidlaw’s Harley-Davidson found this out the hard way last spring, when their franchise was terminated; however, according to Dealernews, they’ve just won it back.

Harley-Davidson was irked with Laidlaw’s for allegedly breaking the manufacturer’s fleet sales policy and “non-retail sales policy.” Supposedly, Laidlaw’s sold motorcycles or accessories to resellers, across state lines, to overseas buyers, and to rental operations, all against Harley-Davidson’s policy. Harley-Davidson also claimed Laidlaw’s provided incomplete or incorrect warranty and sales forms, so out-of-area buyers were unable to receive recall notice information.

In court, Laidlaw’s argued the fleet sales policy and non-retail sales policy were not part of the franchise agreement; they also said these policies are changed frequently without the dealers’ consent, and that Harley-Davidson wasn’t being hurt by their out-of-area sales of new bikes anyway, as Laidlaw’s could have sold used bikes to the same areas or to rental outfits. If Harley-Davidson had been injured by the practice, Laidlaw’s said they would have paid reparations.

They also said termination of their dealer agreement was too harsh a punishment, as other dealers had suffered lesser consequences. Harley-Davidson countered by saying they’ve served 19 termination notices since 2005.

In the end, Laidlaw’s had the termination reversed; however, they need to provide auditing figured to Harley-Davidson for the next three years, until their franchise agreement expires in 2014.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Duke is wrong you can’t compare a Goldwing to a H-D Touring bike that like talking about a Rolls Royce to a Cadillac you can’t. I’m looking for pads and rotor for my FLHTC If you look around hard you can find them for a really great price from some H-D dealerships out there better then retail price and I have friends and relatives in many states that I can send over to buy the parts I need and have them ship it over. That’s cheaper than using gas to go to Buffalo and you can send payment to you friends and family through PayPal . To show you one price difference a ROTOR cost in the USA is $118 ( 41808-08B ) I found it for $70 just buy shopping around OEM NEW I’m not saying witch HARLEY DAVIDSON DEALER up to you to do the research. Here in CANADA same part is $162 That’s a $92 difference Ask HD CANADA WHY for such a big price difference. The cost of one in Canada I can buy 2 In the USA. I would love to support our dealerships here in Canada but not for that price. It’s not HARLEY DAVIDSON USA causing this problem its DEELEY CANADA is the problem Deeley Is telling Harley USA not to ship to Canada he is losing to much money. Just remember everyone there is always a way to get stuff here from the USA even the right way with paper work to Just to add service on an H-D bike in the USA is $259 including plugs and taxes. Here in Canada it is $400 plus plugs and taxes same service LOL WHAT A JOKE. My Bike is a Canadian bike but there is no service trail here in Canada it’s all done in the USA If you want to support Canadian dealerships wait till they have sales with 15% off sometimes it’s the same cost as the USA ( SOMETIMES )

  2. Harley davidson mark ups are less in Canada then the Japanese bikes. i had to buy a harley davidson electraglide because i couldn’t afford a goldwing…. american honda dealers will loose there franchise as well if they sell to canadians,,,they have had stern warnings……….so enjoy the 20 percent markup on the sticker price of your asian bikes plus the hst and keep scrubbing the bugs off of the tupperware

  3. 19 termination notices? Not allowed to sell over the internet?? HD business practices are as out of date as their bikes.

  4. As long as Deeley Canada is the ( private company ) distributor for HD in Canada ,the bikes and parts / accessories will cost more.As an independent distributor they have to add their mark up ( lets say 20 % ) and I’m being conservative, to make a profit and stay in business.

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