At least several rejected General Motors Co. dealers who have not been told that they are candidates for reinstatement have reached out to the company anyway and have been given an encouraging response about settlement possibilities, dealer lawyers said.
At the same time, lawyers for dealers who have been told that they are on the reinstatement list said they will recommend arbitration if the letters of intent that GM is sending out impose onerous conditions.
These conditions might involve working capital, relocation, floorplan financing, personal guarantees or other requirements.
Those lawyers added that if their clients are unhappy with the requirements in the letters, they will try to negotiate changes with GM before deciding whether to reject the company's overture.
The lawyers' plans suggest that the GM reinstatement and arbitration process is potentially more fluid and unpredictable -- and with possibly more opportunities for dealers -- than was previously understood.
"I am trained to be skeptical until something is in writing and signed," said Michael Charapp, a McLean, Va., lawyer who represents two dozen dealers in arbitration. "Or to put it in car dealer terms, the car is not delivered until the wheels cross the curb."