Dealers, don't get your hopes up too soon.
House approval of legislation that would give broader arbitration rights to 2,150 dealers rejected by General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group is welcome news to those retailers. The legislation is expected to pass the Senate this week and be signed by President Barack Obama.
But only a fraction of the dealers are likely to get their stores back.
Most of the Chrysler stores and many of the GM stores already are out of business or closing. To determine reinstatement, arbitrators would consider the store's "current economic viability" and other criteria. That could make getting a store back difficult, even for those dealers who have continued to operate.
Richard Carpenter of Oroville Motors, a rejected Chrysler store in a small city north of Sacramento, Calif., said he will pursue arbitration. He remains open as a used-car dealership and is optimistic he would prevail in arbitration. But others won't have that chance.