The protesting dealerships met with Volvo and Polestar for a mandatory settlement conference, Levin said, but there was no resolution. The case is moving to discovery, and if there is a hearing, a hearing officer will listen to evidence from both sides and propose a resolution, Levin said. That proposal would then be presented to the review board for a final decision, he said.
The protesting dealerships are Fields Volvo Cars Northfield, Patrick Volvo Cars in Schaumburg, Volvo Cars Lisle, McGrath Volvo Cars Barrington, Howard Orloff Volvo Cars in Chicago, Sullivan-Parkhill Imports in Champaign, Autobarn Volvo Cars Oak Park, Volvo Cars Sycamore, Isringhausen Volvo of Springfield and Volvo Cars Normal.
"Dealers depend on product offerings, including electric vehicles, that will help market the brand," Levin said. "They simply want the opportunity to have Polestar as one of the things they can offer and attract people to the business."
Levin said other states will want all of their Volvo dealerships to have a chance to sell Polestar vehicles as well. "They just want to be treated fairly," Levin said.
When Hyundai decided to make Genesis its own brand, it approached select Hyundai dealers about selling the luxury line, initially aiming for just 100 outlets. But many Hyundai dealers wanted to continue to sell Genesis vehicles, and the automaker in April 2018 ultimately offered all Hyundai dealers that opportunity if they agreed to open standalone stores by January 2021.
More than half of Hyundai dealerships opted not to do so and accepted a settlement payment to release them from the Genesis network.