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Report: Chrysler won’t reinstate dealers

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March 10, 2010—Chrysler Group has signaled that it will not follow General Motors’ plan to reinstate 661 dealerships, according to a report Tuesday by Automotive News.

Chrysler Group noted the number of arbitration claims involving its 789 former dealers has dropped 5 percent, from 418 to fewer than 400.

An unidentified source close to Chrysler told Automotive News that GM’s rejected dealers are still in business, meaning they have contracts to sell cars, while Chrysler’s are not.

“You can’t legally reinstate something you never had a contract with,” the source said.

Chrysler told Automotive News in an email that dealer appointments would be a function of the arbitration proceedings. If an arbitrator rules in favor of the dealership, it will get a letter of intent from Chrysler.

But under new arbitration laws, Chrysler could pursue private settlement talks if it wanted to.

“Chrysler’s looking for technicalities to hide behind,” Alan Spitzer, co-leader of the Committee to Restore Dealer Rights, told Automotive News. “The law allows them to negotiate outside arbitration.”

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