Honolulu Volvo dealership in limbo
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.”