Clearing the way for a new BMW dealership to be built in the Los Angeles market, the California New Motor Vehicle Board has dismissed protests filed by other BMW dealers, including the lead opponent, Nick Alexander Imports.
The new store is to be located in the affluent Hancock Park area on Wilshire Blvd. The Nick Alexander store is located on Alameda Street. Elizabeth Alexander is general manager and the store sells Mini Cooper vehicles as well as BMWs.
The L.A. market is one of BMW's best for sales in the U.S.
The central issue involved in the rare dispute between dealers and their importer, in this case BMW of North America, was Nick Alexander's claim that the new store would violate the state franchise law's prohibition on same-brand dealerships being less than 10 miles from each other.
Ground was broke for the new store in mid-August, two months after the Board dismissed all protests, including the one from Nick Alexander, and recommended that legal fees and costs of $12,159.14 be paid by Nick Alexander to BMW of North America for alleged discovery abuses.
Among Los Angeles area dealerships which joined in the protest or filed protests of their own were Center BMW, Santa Monica BMW, Beverly Hills BMW, Century West BMW and Pacific BMW.
The basis of the briefs filed on behalf of BMW dealers outside the 10-mile radius from Nick Alexander, attorneys said, was that approval of the new store's location could violate the territory-restriction clause in the franchise law.
Administrative Judge Anthony Skrocki dismissed the protests without directly ruling on the territory issue's impact on the Nick Alexander location.