WASHINGTON -- General Motors Co. has contacted all 661 of the rejected dealerships that the company intends to reinstate, fulfilling a pledge made last week.
The automaker reached 80 percent of the dealerships by phone on Friday and contacted the remainder today, GM spokeswoman Ryndee Carney said in an e-mail.
“It's a great step in the right direction,” said Alan Spitzer, an Ohio dealer who is co-leader of the Committee to Restore Dealer Rights, a group of rejected GM and Chrysler Group dealerships.
Spitzer said anecdotal evidence from more than a dozen dealerships contacted by GM suggests that a disproportionate number may be Cadillac showrooms and/or rural dealerships.
GM North America President Mark Reuss said last week that the company planned to phone all 661 dealerships with whom it wants to begin settlement talks, and follow up with written letters of intent starting the end of this week.
A total of 1,160 rejected GM showrooms had paid $1,625 apiece to give notice of their intent to seek reinstatement through arbitration.
Spitzer said he would like to see GM “do the right thing” with the 499 dealerships that are arbitrating but that the company does not intend to reinstate.
Reuss said last week that they could approach GM with a request to enter settlement talks, adding that the company might consider compensation or reinstatement.
“I imagine the company will be approached by a high percentage of dealers,” Spitzer said. “I hope it puts offers on the table. That would clean things up for good.”