State paperwork holds up sale of Volvo cars in Hawaii


A technicality is preventing Volvo cars from being sold in our state.

The Dept. of Commerce and Consumer Affairs sent a letter to Volvo Cars USA saying the dealership did not complete an application to sell vehicles. Its previous license as “Volvo Cars of North America” had expired.

That effect has trickled down to the local level, and the company decided to suspend all new vehicle sales out of an abundance of caution. Dozens of employees are affected.

According to a statement from Commerce and Consumer Affairs released Friday:

At its December 20, 2016 regular meeting, the Motor Vehicle Licensing Board reviewed the license application and oral testimony presented by the applicant, Volvo Car USA LLC. After deliberations, the Board determined that the applicant had not yet provided the documentation required under Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 437-7(f) and as such, deferred decision making on the application. The application is in pending status until the Board receives and reviews a complete application.

Volvo of Honolulu general manager John Martinho says that “since that time frame, we have had over $700,000 worth of cars shipped to us that we’ve already paid for that we can’t get. So it’s just sitting at the docks right now. Some of them are pre-sold that we were expected to deliver to customers.”

The state says it will work with Volvo to complete its application and once the necessary information is received, the application can be approved.

Martinho says Volvo of Honolulu is still servicing cars in the meantime. Used car sales are also not affected.

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