WASHINGTON - House and Senate leaders proposed a compromise yesterday to give shuttered General Motors and Chrysler dealers an appeals process to keep their showrooms open.
Congressional aides said a broad $1.1 trillion spending bill would include language providing 789 Chrysler dealers closed in June and more than 1,350 GM dealers expected to be shut down next year an improved binding arbitration process to challenge the automakers’ decisions.
General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group said last week they would reconsider decisions to close the dealers as part of a compromise meant to set aside action by Congress to force them to keep the dealers open. The plans called for face-to-face reviews with dealerships and binding arbitration for dealers who challenge the decisions.
But dealers and key lawmakers said the automakers’ proposals failed to go far enough.
A compromise developed by Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate majority whip, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Democrat of Maryland, would require the arbitration panels to consider a broad range of circumstances, including issues such as the economic interests of the terminated dealer, the company, and the public; the dealer’s profitability during the past four years; and conditions that could have led to a poor sales performance, including natural disasters and a poor local economy.