Honolulu Volvo deal­er­ship in limbo

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - BUSINESS -

Volvo Cars of Honolulu is still in limbo and not sell­ing new cars while it waits for a pa­per­work mix-up with the state to sort it­self out.

The lo­cal fran­chise dealer has been sit­ting on $6 mil­lion in new-car in­ven­tory for more than a week be­cause its dis­trib­u­tor, New Jer­sey-based Volvo Car USA LLC, filed in­com­plete pa­per­work with the Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle In­dus­try Li­cens­ing Board of Hawaii.

But there could be a sil­ver lin­ing. Wil­liam Nhieu, a spokesman for the state Depart­ment of Com­merce and Con­sumer Af­fairs, said late Fri­day af­ter­noon that “doc­u­ments re­quested by the DCCA for this ap­pli­ca­tion were re­ceived.” Nhieu said he didn’t know when they would be re­viewed and said whether the lo­cal Volvo deal­er­ship could sell ve­hi­cles cur­rently is “a le­gal gray area and up to in­ter­pre­ta­tion.”

John Mart­inho, gen­eral man­ager and vice pres­i­dent of Volvo Cars of Honolulu, said he doesn’t want to risk get­ting sued and is wait­ing for a de­fin­i­tive de­ter­mi­na­tion be­cause a let­ter from the Hawaii ve­hi­cle li­cens­ing board to the dis­trib­u­tor said Volvo Car USA “is not au­tho­rized to dis­trib­ute mo­tor ve­hi­cles in this state.”

“We’re still left un­clear,” he said. “We un­der­stand that we’re not in­volved with the li­cens­ing is­sue, but we don’t un­der­stand if we are al­lowed to ne­go­ti­ate on new ve­hi­cles based on what we in­ter­pret the Hawaii Re­vised Statutes to be.”

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