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SEC Filings

10-K
PENSKE AUTOMOTIVE GROUP, INC. filed this Form 10-K on 02/24/2017
Entire Document
 

we serve our customers is tailored to their method of engagement with us, the device they are using and their specific requests where applicable.

 

In Australia and New Zealand, we market our commercial vehicles and other products principally through our network of dealership and service locations, supported by corporate level marketing efforts. We separate our marketing by brand in Australia. We market to customers at various trade shows and other industry events in Australia and New Zealand, which presents the opportunity to approach fleet managers with new products and offerings. We also employ racing and other local sponsorships to generate brand awareness in our markets. Our Internet marketing leverages manufacturer websites supplemented by our brand specific websites to promote our brands. Furthermore, in Australia, we and our dealers advertise available pre-owned commercial vehicle inventory online through pensketrucks.com.au. This website is designed to make it easy for customers to view and compare on average 150 certified and pre-owned commercial vehicles and make contact with the relevant dealership. It provides another point of contact for customers to engage with the Penske brands in Australia. We also rely on our dealerships and service locations to market to local customers, though we typically assign a regional sales manager to oversee local dealer marketing efforts.

 

Agreements with Vehicle Manufacturers

 

We operate our new vehicle dealerships under separate agreements with the manufacturers or distributors of each brand of vehicle sold at that dealership. These agreements are typical throughout the industry and may contain provisions and standards governing almost every aspect of the dealership, including ownership, management, personnel, training, maintenance of a minimum of working capital, net worth requirements, maintenance of minimum lines of credit, advertising and marketing activities, facilities, signs, products and services, maintenance of minimum amounts of insurance, achievement of minimum customer service standards and monthly financial reporting. In addition, the General Manager and/or the owner of a dealership typically cannot be changed without the manufacturer’s consent. In exchange for complying with these provisions and standards, we are granted the non-exclusive right to sell the manufacturer’s or distributor’s brand of vehicles and related parts and warranty services at our dealerships. The agreements also grant us a non-exclusive license to use each manufacturer’s trademarks, service marks and designs in connection with our sales and service of its brand at our dealership.

 

Some of our agreements, including those with BMW, Honda, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota, expire after a specified period of time, ranging from one to six years. Manufacturers have generally not terminated our franchise agreements, and our franchise agreements with fixed terms have typically been renewed without substantial cost. We currently expect the manufacturers to renew all of our franchise agreements as they expire. In addition, certain agreements with the manufacturers limit the total number of dealerships of that brand that we may own in a particular geographic area and, in some cases, limit the total number of their vehicles that we may sell as a percentage of a particular manufacturer’s overall sales. Manufacturers may also limit the ownership of stores in contiguous markets. We have reached certain geographical limitations with certain manufacturers in the U.S. and U.K. Where these limits are reached, we cannot acquire additional franchises of those brands in the relevant market unless we can negotiate modifications to the agreements. We may not be able to negotiate any such modifications.

 

Many of these agreements also grant the manufacturer or distributor a security interest in the vehicles and/or parts sold by them to the dealership, as well as other dealership assets, and permit them to terminate or not renew the agreement for a variety of causes, including failure to adequately operate the dealership, insolvency or bankruptcy, impairment of the dealer’s reputation or financial standing, changes in the dealership’s management, owners or location without consent, sales of the dealership’s assets without consent, failure to maintain adequate working capital or floor plan financing, changes in the dealership’s financial or other condition, failure to submit required information to them on a timely basis, failure to have any permit or license necessary to operate the dealership, and material breaches of other provisions of the agreement. In the U.S., these termination rights are subject to state franchise laws that limit a manufacturer’s right to terminate a franchise. In the U.K., we operate without such local franchise law protection (see “Regulation” below).

 

Our agreements with manufacturers or distributors usually give them the right, in some circumstances (including upon a merger, sale, or change of control of the company, or in some cases a material change in our business or capital structure), to acquire the dealerships from us at fair market value. For example, our agreement with General Motors provides that, upon a proposed purchase of 20% or more of our voting stock by any new person or entity or another

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