CINCINNATI (CN) – Audi of America is driving franchisees out of business by giving cash rebates to favored dealers and denying them to dealers it considers “non-exclusive dealers of the Audi brand,” one such dealer claims in Federal Court. Beechmont Audi says it’s an illegal scheme by which Audi plans to “aggressively transform its dealer network from one presently consisting of 36% ‘exclusive’ dealers to one consisting of 60% ‘exclusive’ dealers.”
Beechmont claims Audi’s scheme violates the Robinson-Patman Act, or alternatively that it is entitled to the discounts/rebates, and Audi’s refusal to let it into its “Margin Bonus Program” is a constructive termination of its franchise.
It demands punitive damages. It is represented by W. Break Weigel with Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease.