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GM - Ford Alliance?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by ntsqd, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    From a newpaper guy on a local Bronco list:

    BY TOM WALSH

    FREE PRESS COLUMNIST

    In a clear sign of how squirrelly the watercooler
    chatter in Detroit has become, the wires and the
    airwaves were atwitter Monday at the prospect of a
    mega-merger or alliance between Ford Motor Co. and
    General Motors Corp.

    Never mind that U.S. antitrust lawyers would be
    stomping all over any combination of consequence
    between GM and Ford.

    Never mind that the product lines of the two
    automakers are not complementary. Each is strong where
    the other is strong (big trucks) and weak where the
    other is weak (minivans, many cars).

    Never mind that GM and Ford already work together on
    transmissions, safety issues and other things.

    None of these never-minds stopped the newswires, or
    Detroit's radio and TV stations, from breathlessly
    repeating the sketchy nine-paragraph report in the
    trade weekly Automotive News. The publication said
    under the tantalizing headline "The Ultimate Alliance:
    GM and Ford" that officials of the two firms had
    talked last month about a possible alliance.

    GM and Ford officials on Monday wouldn't characterize
    the nature of the discussions, except to say the
    companies talk to each other routinely about various
    issues. They insisted, as of now, the companies are
    not holding talks.

    But what about tomorrow? Or a week from Saturday?

    "It's wilder than the GM-Renault-Nissan thing, and
    that's pretty wild," University of Michigan business
    professor Gerald Meyers said, referring to ongoing
    discussions involving GM, Renault SA of France and
    Nissan Motor Co. of Japan about a possible alliance
    among the three. Maverick GM shareholder Kirk
    Kerkorian started pushing GM in late June to explore
    joining the existing Renault-Nissan alliance.

    Meyers, former chief executive officer of American
    Motors Corp., has some history with such matters. He
    merged AMC into Renault in a series of transactions
    beginning in 1979.

    Meyers and other industry observers said a GM-Ford
    combination could conceivably cut costs by reducing
    the number of vehicle platforms and jettisoning
    thousands more engineers than the two shrinking
    companies already have shed in recent years. And a
    fused Ford-GM could presumably bludgeon its poor
    suppliers for even lower parts prices and squeeze the
    ever-weaker UAW for more wage and benefit concessions.

    But to what end? Survival, perhaps, if both GM and
    Ford see no other alternatives. It's hard, however, to
    imagine these two companies, with their very different
    cultures and history of cutthroat competition, would
    get hitched unless at gunpoint.

    Why am I even writing about this? Why did other news
    outlets fly into a dither about it?

    Because all kinds of conventional wisdom about
    Detroit, about GM, about Ford, has exploded in recent
    years.

    Think about job security. Comfortable retirements.
    Guaranteed pensions. Great retiree health care
    benefits. Those were viewed as immutable entitlements
    by folks who hired on at GM, Ford and Chrysler in the
    1950s and 1960s. No more.

    Could we have imagined back then that GM and Ford
    would be struggling for survival in a sea of
    junk-rated debt?

    Nothing, it seems, is beyond the pale anymore. The
    United States ascended to unrivaled world economic
    supremacy after defeating Germany and Japan in World
    War II, yet today, a mere 60 years later, Chrysler is
    owned by Germany's DaimlerChrysler AG, and Ford has
    been surpassed in a flash by Japan's Toyota Motor
    Corp. as the world's No. 2 seller of cars and trucks.

    Are GM and Ford on the verge of a merge? Highly
    unlikely, now or next week or next month. But we've
    seen way too much upheaval hereabouts to say never.
     
  2. sandracer799

    sandracer799 1/2 ton status

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    Really interesting!
     
  3. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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  4. smalltruckbigcid

    smalltruckbigcid 1/2 ton status

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    O so impossible
     
  5. bear76

    bear76 1/2 ton status

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    What happened to P?
     
  6. PhoenixZorn

    PhoenixZorn 1/2 ton status

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    It must have been Shot out with the trash.... I mean this story...
     
  7. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    Hum, that is the very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, very, very, very,very, 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read of it SINCE all of their woes.
     

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