Commercial Law — Commercial contracts — Dealership agreements

Date Citation Note
06.05.2002 Com. 930 Pourvoi N° 99-14.093 Case Fiat Auto France / Sofisud French law relating to dealerships has long been rendered complex and sometimes unpredictable by a tendency of the courts to look on the arrangement as some form of quasi-partnership or fiduciary relationship in which the freedom of the principal to terminate the contract is restrained with the aim of protecting the dealer, seen as being necessarily weaker than the principal and as having invested capital in order to prepare to represent the principal. Much litigation therefore surrounds the termination of such contracts. This is such a case, but the Court was not prepared to follow the dealer in its argument. This consisted of alleging that, upon termination, and because of Article 1134 (3) of the Civil Code (which provides that a contract must be performed in good faith, the principal had a duty to assist the dealer to retarget its business. This contention is bluntly rejected.