The new owners of West Allis Hyundai are suing a former general sales manager, alleging he accessed proprietary customer information after leaving for a competitor in Racine.
The lawsuit, filed by HWAG LLC in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Wisconsin, names Home Run Auto Group LLC and Shawn Monty as defendants.
The complaint says Monty left his job as general sales manager at Arrow Hyundai in West Allis 10 days before HWAG acquired the dealership and its assets and took a job at Racine Hyundai in Mount Pleasant.
Arrow Hyundai became Hyundai West Allis following the acquisition and became part of the International Autos Group, which includes 23 dealerships in Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota and Illinois.
HWAG alleges that sometime after the acquisition, Monty and other Racine Hyundai employees began calling customers and prospective customers of the West Allis dealership to sell them vehicles, warranties, parts and service. The complaint describes the Racine dealership as a competitor to the Hyundai West Allis within a common territory.
The complaint alleges Monty and the Racine dealership had told customers the West Allis dealership had closed or that the Racine dealership had opened to serve them.
“Hyundai West Allis’ customers and prospective customers have expressed confusion as they know they purchased a vehicle, warranty, parts and/or service from the West Allis Hyundai dealership but are now receiving calls from the competing Racine Hyundai,” the complaint says.
HWAG says that after hearing from customers about the calls it began to investigate and determined Monty allegedly accessed the West Allis dealership’s VinSolutions database of customer information a total of 42 times between his resignation and April 30.
The database includes information on customers; including phone numbers, email and street addresses, purchase history and additional information. The complaint says Monty downloaded or emailed the information to his personal email address and then deleted or destroyed information in the system.
The complaint alleges Racine Hyundai would not have been able to contact the prospective customers without the information from the database.
The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order blocking the use of the information while the case plays out along with an injunction against its use and damages to be paid to HWAG.
A Racine Hyundai representative did not immediately respond to requests for comment.