Automotive Consulting Expertise

Altstadt Consulting specializes in services to the automotive industry; both to retail dealerships, and to manufacturers and distributors. We have significant national expertise in various types of litigation inherent to the industry including franchisor/franchisee disputes, labor and employment matters, contractual disputes, intellectual property issues, litigation arising from bankruptcy proceedings and fraud and forensic matters. We have also valued in excess of one hundred automobile franchises over the past thirty three years. Our consultants have testified as to damages, dealership valuation and operational issues in all forums including state and federal courts, arbitration panels, and before state administrative law bodies.

Selected Testimony

In Re: Honda Santa Ana (Various attorneys) Mr. Altstadt acted as a third party independent mediator in this claim by a Honda dealership against its insurance carriers.

Toyota of Visalia, Inc. v. Toyota Motor Distributors, Inc. (Robert Ebe-McCutcheon Doyle Brown & Enersen) Mr. Altstadt testified as an expert before the California New Motor Vehicle Board on behalf of the respondent in a franchise termination dispute.

Quaid Automotive, Inc. v. Mitsubishi Motor-Sales of America, Inc. (Elizabeth Grimes-Gibson Dunn & Crutcher) Mr. Altstadt provided an expert deposition on behalf of the respondent in this franchise termination dispute.

American Eagle Wheel Corporation v. American Racing Equipment, Inc. (Cynthia Schaldenbrand-Freeburg, Judy & Nettels) Mr. Altstadt provided an expert report in United States District Court (Santa Ana, California) on behalf of the defendant in a patent infringement matter.

Kemp v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc. (Job Taylor-Latham & Watkins) Mr. Altstadt testified as an expert in State Supreme Court (Long Island, New York) on behalf of the defendant in a breach of contract matter.

Doris Weiss v. Kramer Motors, Inc. (Margaret Henry-Henry & Tenner) Mr. Altstadt testified as an expert in Superior Court (Santa Monica, California) on behalf of the defendant in a discrimination matter.

Irvine Central Motors, Inc. v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc. (Maurice Sanchez-Alvarado, Smith, Villa & Sanchez) Mr. Altstadt testified before the California New Motor Vehicle Board on behalf of the respondent in a franchise protest matter.

Romero Corp. v. Liebman, Reiner (Paul Mahoney- Jones, Mahoney, Brayton & Soll) Mr. Altstadt provided an expert deposition on behalf of the plaintiff in a legal malpractice matter.

Presley Wilkes v. Barbara Hill (Mitchell Shapiro-Shapiro, Posell, Rosendfeld & Close) Mr. Altstadt testified as an expert in Superior Court (San Bernardino County, California) on behalf of the plaintiff in a breach of contract matter.

MacPherson Properties v. Rangs Automotive (Jim Ferruzzo-Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo) Mr. Altstadt provided an expert declaration on behalf of the plaintiff in a construction defect matter.

William Karges v. Dellis Montell (Harold Light-Law Offices of Harold J. Light) Mr. Altstadt testified as an expert in Superior Court (Los Angeles, California) on behalf of the defendant in a breach of fiduciary duty matter involving the Santa Monica BMW dealership.

Michael Treadway v. Steven Hiller, et al. (Stan Jones-Law Offices of Stanely R. Jones) Mr. Altstadt testified as an expert in a JAMS arbitration on behalf of the plaintiff in a breach of fiduciary matter.  Testimony included an opinion of the value of an Orange County Lexus dealership.

Aircraft and Boat Leasing v. Advantage Loma Linda LLC, et al. (David Werner-Stream & Stream) Mr. Altstadt testified in a AAA arbitration on behalf of the plaintiff in a breach of contract matter.

Mazda Motor of America, Inc. v. David J. Phillips Mazda (Maurice Sanchez – Alvarado, Smith & Sanchez) Mr. Altstadt testified as an expert in Superior Court (Orange County, California) on behalf of the plaintiff in a breach of contract matter.

Rockville Harley-Davidson, Inc. v. Harley-Davidson Motor Company (Brad Weiss – Charapp & Weiss)  Mr. Altstadt testified as an expert witness before the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings on behalf of the plaintiff in a breach of contract matter.

James Barker v. David J. Wilson, et al. (Stuart Jasper – Jasper & Jasper) Mr. Altstadt testified as an expert witness in a JAMS arbitration on behalf of the plaintiff in a breach of contract matter.

American Isuzu Motors v. Ray Fladeboe, et al. (James Mulcahy – The Mulcahy Law Firm) Mr. Altstadt testified as an expert witness in Superior Court (Orange County, California) on behalf of the plaintiff in a trademark infringement matter.  Additionally, Mr. Altstadt provided an expert report in a separate matter in United States District Court (Los Angeles)

S&C Kia v. Kia Motors America (Maurice Sanchez – Adorno, Yoss, et al.) Mr. Altstadt testified before the California New Motor Vehicle Board on behalf of the respondent in a franchise termination matter.

Cascade Motorsports of Oregon v. American Suzuki Motor Corporation (James Mulcahy – The Mulcahy Law Firm) Mr. Altstadt provided an expert report in United States District Court (District of Oregon) on behalf of the defendant in a franchise termination matter.

National Business Brokers v. Hooman Nissani (Christopher Reeder – Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton) Mr. Altstadt provided an expert deposition in Superior Court (Orange County, California) on behalf of the defendant in a breach of contract case.

In Re: IRMO Feldman (Several) Mr. Altstadt was the court appointed third party appraiser in a divorce matter in San Diego County.  The appraisal included eight automobile franchises in San Diego and Mexico.  Trial testimony was provided.

U.S. Bank v .Downtown Automotive Group, et al.  (Greg E. Montgomery - Miller Nash) Mr. Altstadt provided an expert deposition in Superior court (King County, Washington) on behalf of the plaintiff in a breach of contract matter involving a Seattle area Nissan dealership.

Hooman Nissani v. Long Beach Motors (Christopher Reeder – Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton) Mr. Altstadt provided an expert deposition in Superior Court (Los Angeles) on behalf of the plaintiff in a breach of contract case.

In Re: Burger (Steven Bishop – Law Offices of Steven Bishop) Mr. Altstadt critiqued the valuation of a Chrysler Jeep Dodge franchise in La Mesa, California in a divorce matter in San Diego County. Mr. Altstadt provided a written report to the court.

Bradley Cooper v. Cadillac of Whittier (Brian Plessala – Gray Duffy and Ron Brand – Fisher & Phillips) Mr. Altstadt testified in an arbitration on behalf of the defendant in a breach of contract matter resulting from the resignation of a sales manager of a Cadillac dealership in Whittier, California.

College Park Motors, Inc. v. Volkswagen of America (Michael Charapp – Charapp & Weiss) Mr. Altstadt testified on behalf of the plaintiff in a franchise termination matter before the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings involving the Volkswagen dealership in College Park, Maryland.

In Re: Carl Burger Estate (Charles Harris - Harris & Collins) Mr. Altstadt provided a written report of the valuation of the Chrysler Jeep and Dodge franchises in La Mesa, California for estate tax purposes.


Mulllahey Chevrolet v. General Motors Corporation (Jim Ferruzzo - Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo) Mr. Altstadt testified in a AAA arbitration on behalf of the claimant in a franchise termination matter.


William L. Morris Chevrolet v. General Motors Corporation (Greg Ferruzzo - Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo) Mr. Altstadt testified in a AAA arbitration on behalf of the claimant in a franchise termination matter.

Hardin Automotive v. General Motors Corporation (Greg Ferruzzo - Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo) Mr. Altstadt provided a written expert report in a AAA arbitration on behalf of the claimant in a franchise termination matter.


In Re: Hardin Automotive (No Attorney) Mr. Altstadt provided a written report of the valuation of the Honda, Buick and GMC franchises in Anaheim, CA for estate tax purposes.


Powerhouse Motorsports v. Yamaha Motor Corporation (Maurice Sanchez - Baker Hostetler) Mr. Altstadt testified in Superior Court (Paso Robles) for the defendant in a breach of contract matter. 


Yang v. Winjet Automotive (Charles Sutton - Law Offices of Roger Hsu) Mr. Altstadt provided an expert report in United States District Court (Santa Ana, California) on behalf of the defendant in a patent infringement matter.

Los Feliz Ford, Inc. v. Chrysler Corporation  (Michael Sieving - Callahan, Thompson, Sherman & Caudill) Mr. Altstadt provided a Rule 26 report and an expert deposition in U.S. District Court (Central District of California) on behalf of the plaintiff in a declatory relief matter involving a Glendale, CA Chrysler/Jeep dealership.

Leo Boese v. 3MJ Corp, et al.  (Richard Ritchie - Callahan, Thompson, Sherman & Caudill) Mr. Altstadt provided an expert deposition in Superior Court (Santa Ana) on behalf of the plaintiff in a breach of contract matter involving the Nissan dealership in Moreno Valley, CA.

Ocean Mission Park v. Taheripour, et al. (Matthew Rips - Russ, August & Kabat) Mr. Altstadt testified in Superior Court (Los Angeles) on behalf of the plaintiff in a breach of contract matter.  Analysis included the assessment of the financial and operational history of six automotive franchises in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Simi Management v. Bank of America, N.A. (William Logan - Putterman Logan and Giles) Mr. Altstadt provided a Rule 26 report and an expert deposition in U.S. District Court (Northern District of California) on behalf of the plaintiff in an aiding and abetting fraud matter involving a Nissan and Chrysler-Jeep dealership in Oakland, CA.


R&T Investments v. Kawasaki Motors Corp, USA (Maurice Sanchez - Baker Hostetler) Mr. Altstadt testified in Superior Court (Sacramento) for the defendant in a breach of contract matter. 

In Re: Burger Auto Group (Lawrence Kaplan - Solomon Ward) Mr. Altstadt provided a written report of the valuation of the Chrysler Jeep, Dodge and Ram franchises in La Mesa, California for estate tax purposes.

In Re: Hardin Automotive Group (Thomas Ferruzzo - Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo) Mr. Altstadt provided a written report of the valuation of the Honda, Buick-GMC, Hyundai and Kia franchises in Anaheim, Garden Grove and Irvine, CA for corporate reorganization purposes.

Selected Consulting Engagements

In Re: Grand Chevrolet (Peter White-Manning, Leaver, Bruder & Berberich) Mr. Altstadt managed an engagement to track $13 million worth of cash collateral of this dealership in bankruptcy.

Howard Schneider v. Gary Winnick, et al. (Seed, Mackall, Nida & Cole) Mr. Altstadt analyzed the proposed operations of a large Santa Barbara dealer group for purposes of debt restructuring.

CAMT, Inc. v. Merle Yost (Robert Currie-Latham & Watkins) Mr. Altstadt analyzed the damages claimed by a minority shareholder in an Orange County Toyota dealership.

Infiniti Division of Nissan Motor Corp in USA v. Meier, et al. (Maurice Guinn-Gentry, Tipton, et al.) Mr. Altstadt analyzed the operations of this Knoxville, TN dealership in a breach of contract matter.

Toyota Motor Distributors, Inc. v. Mike Harvey Toyota (Elizabeth Grimes-Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher) Mr. Altstadt analyzed the operations of this dealership during its Chapter 11 bankruptcy for plan confirmation purposes.

Joe Conti Toyota v. Toyota Motor Sales of America (Merritt Spencer-Strasburger & Price) Mr. Atstadt analyzed the operations of this Texas dealership during its Chapter 11 bankruptcy for plan confirmation purposes. 

In Re: Holmes Tuttle (Tom Ferruzzo-Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo) Mr. Altstadt performed a business interruption analysis on two dealerships to be closed for construction defect repairs.

Roger Hogan v. Tokai Credit Corp. (Steve Bloom-Frandzel & Share) Mr. Altstadt analyzed the profitability of a Nissan dealership operating in bankruptcy for plan confirmation purposes.

Roger Miller v. Dorothy Smith (David Ostrove-Ostrove & Ostrove) Mr. Altstadt evaluated the performance of a Southern California Honda dealership in a dispute between the buyer and seller of the franchise.

In Re: Tab Automotive Group (No Outside Attorney) Mr. Altstadt investigated allegations of embezzlement at an Oregon dealership on behalf of the owners.

In Re: MacHoward Leasing (Tom Ferruzzo-Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo) Mr. Altstadt evaluated certain accounting treatments related to the sale of this dealership group.

Whithorn v. Fritts Ford (Lee Sherman – Callahan, McCune & Willis) Mr. Altstadt evaluated various consumer lease issues in a consumer fraud matter.

Michael Smits v. Jim Lukens Mr. Altstadt quantified the value of the 10% interest of the minority shareholder in a Nissan dealership in a wrongful termination matter.

Orval Paul v. Timothy Valles (John Samberg – Bisno & Samberg) Mr. Altstadt evaluated the operations of a Southern California Nissan dealership in a breach of fiduciary duty matter.

In Re: Marriage of Robertson (Anne Kiley-Trope & Trope) Mr. Altstadt performed a valuation of two Southern California Honda dealerships for the respondent in a divorce matter.

Peter Levin v. Reseda Dodge (Robert Ahdoot – Ahdoot & Wolfson) ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Mr. Altstadt evaluated the finances of two Southern California Chrysler dealerships for punitive damages purposes in a consumer fraud matter.

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. v. Premier Quality Imports, Inc. (Anthony Rollo – McGlinchey Stafford) Mr. Altstadt performed an analysis of the operations of a Honda dealership in Louisiana as they related to the franchisor/franchisee relationship.

In Re: Parker Hannifin and Ford Motor Company (Robert Walker – Jones Day) Mr. Altstadt reviewed costs incurred by Ford Motor Company related to correcting for a defective seal provided by Parker.  This involved visiting three Ford plants in the U.S.

Berkeley Honda Group v. Nielsen, et al. (Greg Simonian – Clapp Moroney, et al.) Mr. Altstadt provided services related to financial analysis and damages related to a misappropriation of trade secrets case involving a Honda dealership in Berkeley, California.

Hubacher Cadillac v. General Motors Corporation (Greg Ferruzzo - Ferruzzo and Ferruzzo) Mr. Altstadt provided consulting services to the claimant in a AAA Arbitration in a franchise reinstatement matter involving the Cadillac Buick-Pontiac-GMC dealership in Sacramento, California.  Services included analysis of the finances and operations of the dealership under criteria established by Congress. 

Daugherty Chevrolet v. General Motors Corporation (Greg Ferruzzo - Ferruzzo and Ferruzzo) Mr. Altstadt provided consulting services to the claimant in a AAA Arbitration in a franchise reinstatement matter involving the Chevrolet dealership in Sacramento, California.  Services included analysis of the finances and operations of the dealership under criteria established by Congress. 

Wondries Chevrolet v. General Motors Corporation (Greg Ferruzzo - Ferruzzo and Ferruzzo) Mr. Altstadt provided consulting services to the claimant in a AAA Arbitration in a franchise reinstatement matter involving the Chevrolet dealership in Alhambra, California.  Services included analysis of the finances and operations of the dealership under criteria established by Congress.

Foothill Ranch Chevrolet v. General Motors Corporation (Greg Ferruzzo - Ferruzzo and Ferruzzo) Mr. Altstadt provided consulting services to the claimant in a AAA Arbitration in a franchise reinstatement matter involving the Chevrolet dealership in Foothill Ranch, California.  Services included analysis of the finances and operations of the dealership under criteria established by Congress. 

Armen Melkonians v. Porsche Financial Services (Kevin Colton - Baker Hostetler) Mr. Altstadt provided consulting services to the defendant in a Superior Court (Los Angeles) action in a business interference matter. Services included analysis of construction and sales of a $ 5 million home in Bel Air, CA.

Santa Cruz Nissan v. Nissan North America (Maurice Sanchez - Baker Hostetler) Mr. Altstadt consulted for the respondent in a California New Motor Vehicle Board termination matter.

Nader Subaru v. Subaru of America, Inc. (Maurice Sanchez - Baker Hostetler) Mr. Altstadt consulted for the respondent in a California New Motor Vehicle Board termination matter.


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