WASHINGTON -- Dealers rejected by General Motors and Chrysler are at opposite ends of the spectrum in talks involving the reinstatement of dealerships terminated in bankruptcy.
At the companies' second meetings with dealers on Oct. 2, GM proposed that rejected dealers submit appeals to company-sponsored mediation.
Dealer representatives responded agreeably, adding that rejected dealers also should have access to third-party arbitration, participants said.
About 1,350 GM dealerships are to be eliminated by October 2010.
In contrast, Chrysler's meeting ended with the two sides at an impasse.
According to participants in the talks, Chrysler representatives said the company plans 103 new franchises and promised that rejected dealers would be considered if they applied.
Dealer groups rejected Chrysler's plan. They called for automatic reinstatement of any rejected dealer that meets automakers' objective criteria, participants said.
After bankruptcy, Chrysler closed 789 dealerships.
One congressional aide said that lawmakers want to help dealers without hampering the struggling automakers but haven't yet figured out a way to do so.
The talks were organized by lawmakers as an alternative to legislation that would reverse dealership terminations, and House leaders have said they would revive the legislation if talks broke down. But no one has said what Congress might do if one company comes to an agreement with dealers and the other does not.