Illinois Dealers Likely to Stay Closed on Sundays

The Chicago Automobile Trade Assn. reports that with the Illinois General Assembly’s scheduled spring adjournment approaching, there won’t be time to act on the latest attempt to open car dealerships to sales on Sundays.

Jim Mateja, Correspondent

May 24, 2016

2 Min Read
Illinois dealers like having Sunday off association says
Illinois dealers like having Sunday off, association says.Getty Images

OAKBROOK, IL – An attempt to allow Illinois car dealers to open on Sunday appears to have failed again.

Some consumers have asked for repeal of so-called Illinois blue laws that prevent dealers from doing business on Sundays, arguing they have such busy lives they don’t have the time during the week or on Saturday to shop for a car.

Dealers, however, have opposed every effort to allow Sunday sales, insisting their staffs need the day off to spend with family.

The Chicago Automobile Trade Assn., which represents Chicagoland new-car dealers, reports that with the Illinois General Assembly’s scheduled spring adjournment approaching, there won’t be time to act on State Sen. Jim Oberweis’ latest attempt to open car dealerships to sales on Sundays.

For Oberweis, who previously had aspirations to run for Illinois governor, it marks the second year in a row his proposed legislation wasn’t called up for a vote.

His latest legislation, called the religious Equality Act, would have allowed dealers to operate any six days of the week of their choosing, opening up Sunday to consumer sales.

But while the bill was given a hearing, it wasn’t called up for a Senate vote, the same fate of three similar bills Oberweis introduced last year. His most far reaching bill called for lifting the Illinois blue law, which took effect in 1984 and prohibits new- and used-vehicle sales on Sundays.

Another of his three bills would have allowed the sale of motor vehicles for not more than two hours on Sundays, while another would have permitted Sunday sales by a dealer who observes a religious day of worship other than Sunday. None of the bills earned a vote in the Senate.

Dealers opposing Sunday sales say they favor giving employees that day off to spend with their families. They also point out many banks aren’t able to finance vehicles on Sundays, so sales on that day would create problems rather than solve them.

“Our dealers like the current law,” says Mike McGrath, chairman of the CATA. “Every state around Illinois is closed Sundays for car sales. Salespeople really like (to have) that day off.”

About the Author(s)

Jim Mateja

Correspondent, WardsAuto

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