For the purposes of this article, the words and phrases defined in this section have the meanings ascribed to them, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning.
(1) "Dealer agreement" means the franchise, agreement or contract in writing between a manufacturer, distributor and a new motor vehicle dealer which purports to establish the legal rights and obligations of the parties to the agreement or contract with regard to the purchase, lease or sale of new motor vehicles, accessories, service and sale of parts for motor vehicles.
(2) "Designated family member" means the spouse, child, grandchild, parent, brother or sister of a deceased new motor vehicle dealer who is entitled to inherit the deceased dealer's ownership interest in the new motor vehicle dealership under the terms of the dealer's will, or who has otherwise been designated in writing by a deceased dealer to succeed the deceased dealer in the new motor vehicle dealership, or is entitled to inherit under the laws of intestate succession of this state. With respect to an incapacitated new motor vehicle dealer, the term means the person appointed by a court as the legal representative of the new motor vehicle dealer's property. The term also includes the appointed and qualified personal representative and the testamentary trustee of a deceased new motor vehicle dealer. However, the term means only that designated successor nominated by the new motor vehicle dealer in a written document filed by the dealer with the manufacturer or distributor, if such a document is filed.
(3) "Distributor" means any person, resident or nonresident who, in whole or in part, offers for sale, sells or distributes any new motor vehicle to a new motor vehicle dealer or who maintains a factor representative, resident or nonresident, or who controls any person, resident or nonresident who, in whole or in part, offers for sale, sells or distributes any new motor vehicle to a new motor vehicle dealer.
(4) "Established place of business" means a permanent, enclosed commercial building located within this state easily accessible and open to the public at all reasonable times and at which the business of a new motor vehicle dealer, including the display and repair of motor vehicles, may be lawfully carried on in accordance with the terms of all applicable building codes, zoning and other land-use regulatory ordinances and as licensed by the Division of Motor Vehicles.
(5) "Factory branch" means an office maintained by a manufacturer or distributor for the purpose of selling or offering for sale vehicles to a distributor, wholesaler or new motor vehicle dealer, or for directing or supervising, in whole or in part, factory or distributor representatives. The term includes any sales promotion organization maintained by a manufacturer or distributor which is engaged in promoting the sale of a particular make of new motor vehicles in this state to new motor vehicle dealers.
(6) "Factory representative" means an agent or employee of a manufacturer, distributor or factory branch retained or employed for the purpose of making or promoting the sale of new motor vehicles or for supervising or contracting with new motor vehicle dealers or proposed motor vehicle dealers.
(7) "Good faith" means honesty in fact and the observation of reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing in the trade.
(8) "Manufacturer" means any person who manufactures or assembles new motor vehicles; or any distributor, factory branch or factory representative and, in the case of a school bus, truck tractor, road tractor or truck as defined in section one, article one of this chapter, also means a person engaged in the business of manufacturing a school bus, truck tractor, road tractor or truck, their engines, power trains or rear axles, including when engines, power trains or rear axles are not warranted by the final manufacturer or assembler, and any distributor, factory branch or representative.
(9) "Motor vehicle" means that term as defined in section one, article one of this chapter, including motorcycle, school bus, truck tractor, road tractor, truck, recreational vehicle, all-terrain vehicle and utility terrain vehicle as defined in subsections (c), (d), (f), (h), (l), (nn) and (vv), respectively, of said section, but not including a farm tractor or farm equipment. The term "motor vehicle" also includes a school bus, truck tractor, road tractor, truck, its component parts, including, but not limited to, its engine, transmission or rear axle manufactured for installation in a school bus, truck tractor, road tractor or truck.
(10) "New motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle which is in the possession of the manufacturer, distributor or wholesaler, or has been sold only to a new motor vehicle dealer and on which the original title has not been issued from the new motor vehicle dealer.
(11) "New motor vehicle dealer" means a person who holds a dealer agreement granted by a manufacturer or distributor for the sale of its motor vehicles, who is engaged in the business of purchasing, selling, leasing, exchanging or dealing in new motor vehicles, service of said vehicles, warranty work and sale of parts who has an established place of business in this state and is licensed by the Division of Motor Vehicles.
(12) "Person" means a natural person, partnership, corporation, association, trust, estate or other legal entity.
(13) "Proposed new motor vehicle dealer" means a person who has an application pending for a new dealer agreement with a manufacturer or distributor. "Proposed motor vehicle dealer" does not include a person whose dealer agreement is being renewed or continued.
(14) "Relevant market area" means the area located within a twenty-air mile radius around an existing same line-make new motor vehicle dealership: Provided, That a fifteen-mile relevant market area as it existed prior to the effective date of this statute shall apply to any proposed new motor vehicle dealership as to which a manufacturer or distributor and the proposed new motor vehicle dealer have executed on or before the effective date of this statute a written agreement, including a letter of intent, performance agreement or commitment letter, concerning the establishment of the proposed new motor vehicle dealership.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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