NEW YORK — General Motors will reinstate 661 dealerships it sought to drop from its sales network.
GM executives said Friday that the dealerships — more than half of those seeking to stay with the automaker — will receive letters giving them the option to remain open.
As part of its restructuring, GM last year told about 2,000 dealerships it would not renew their franchise agreements once they run out in October 2010. But the dealerships have said GM treated them unfairly, and last month Congress passed a law requiring an appeals process for the dealers.
"By doing this we save a lot of time, energy and dollars," said Jim Bunnell, GM general manager of network support, saying the company wished to avoid a "very large arbitration process."
GM would not offer any details Friday about which dealerships it was reinstating and where they are located. It said it chose the 661 based on a variety of criteria, including sales and other business factors.
The company said it hoped to have every letter of intent with dealerships by Monday. At that point, dealers have 10 days to respond and 60 days to meet a set of criteria that would allow them to stay with GM.