• Jul 4, 2006
With Kerkorian's proposal of a General Motors and Nissan/Renault merger still sending shockwaves throughout the auto-sphere, auto curmudgeon Jerry Flint steps up to the podium to give his thoughts on 'Global Motors'.
Flint immediately sees a conflict between the automakers over who would be top dog. He sees no 'merger of equals' here any more than the DaimlerChrysler union was and, worse for GM, the world would not expect Ghosn to take a back seat. GM would be run by Ghosn and Nissan/Renault, not Detroit.

He also doesn't see the money savings in the merger, which analysts state is the long-term goal. Which manufacturing plants, for example, would be closed? In France? Detroit? Germany? And how would the brands be dealt with? Rebadge Tennessee-built Nissans as Chevys? Close the French design staff and have GM's designers in Germany develop new Opels? Even before these questions are answered, the involved automakers would need to deal with GM's union contracts and legacy costs that make the original Nissan/Renault merger look like a cakewalk.

Flint concludes his thoughts on Toyota Motor Co., which many merger advocates point to support their idea. The world's second largest automaker continues its relentless march towards Number One and no automaker has come close to stopping it, especially not any domestic ones. Would a Nissan/Renault/GM company be able to even slow down the Japanese juggernaut? Flint points out that it took years for Nissan/Renault and DaimlerChrysler to begin profiting from their mergers, and there are carcasses aplenty of other former mergers (e.g., GM/Fiat; Studebaker/Packard, etc.) littering the ground of history. By the time Global Motors would resolve its issues, Toyota could be unassailable.

Your thoughts on Flint's thoughts?

Related:
Kerkorian: Merge GM with Nissan/Renault?
Toyota buys GM and other improbables
General Motors, more cuts now, says Kerkorian's advisor
Armchair management: what would you do to solve GM's problems?

[Source: Forbes]


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  • 48 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      GM has alot of problems, but most could be fixed by good leadership that could greenlight good cars. Too many ho-hum models and not enough hits. Pontiac G-6 is a pretty decent car. The GTP, the Chevy Monte Carlo, the Impala are not.

      Ford has two very good cars in the 500 and Fusion (after renting them both I think they beat the 2006 Camry). If it could market anything other than trucks it could start a turn around.

      GM needs a couple decent cars, but they seem to design more crud than cool. I was hoping Lutz could get the cars but only the Solstice seems to be buzz worthy.

      Why is it my Ohio built Element is a good vehicle but old Michigan built Chevy was garbage????
      • 8 Years Ago
      How many consumers really care? Now, I am talking about consumers, not stockholders. Consumers are buying GM, but mostly, these days, based on over-enticements that barely keep the boat afloat for GM.

      If you ask Joe Six Pack (driving his overpriced Chevy 2500 pickup) if he cares about a merger between GM and Nissan/Renault and he'll looked stunned, then say 'buy American', etc., etc., etc.

      Maybe the best thing going for GM is to dissolve itself futher and either shutdown or sell certain divisions. Then one has to ask itself if, for instance, Chevrolet could exist all by itself, etc.
      • 8 Years Ago
      # 2

      Renualt (the car company) doesn't own Mack Trucks. Mack Trucks and Renault Trucks are both owned by Volvo Group AB, the entity that used to own Volvo Cars.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nissan isn't that stupid. They don't want corporate suicide.If they do,we have the next DCX in our hands.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The US Dollar will fall against other major currencies in the near future, meaning imports will get very expensive, and that will benefit GM and Ford and those manufacturers smart enough to build their cars in the U.S.A. Renault/Nissan would do well to pair up with GM.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Kevin: Did you not care to do any research, or you simply didn't know what you want? You didn't know the specs on the car and didn't care to know until after the purchase? You hadn't seen your friend's Celica before you bought the Cobalt?

      You sound very upset over something you did to yourself. I also think you may just be sour over your bad purchase. The Cobolt really isn't miserable looking -- nor have I seen the Celica with 200 HP getting 35 MPG.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sorry, just not a case of GM having a brand new pair of roller skates and Renault having a brand new key.

      8 years later, DCX is worth 40% less than Daimler and Chrysler were on their own.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Nissan has got nothing to do with this. Renault owns Nissan and Nissan don't have a say in anything. This is all about Kerkorian and Ghosn/Renault. Remember that Louis Schweitzer, Ghosn's boss, has given this deal his blessing. He would not have done that without consulting the Renault board and the French Government. Furthermore, they would not have agreed to pursue this unless they had an agenda.

      The biggest manufacturer in the States is being circled by The French Government, A totally ruthless hatchet man whose record at turnarounds is under fire (Nissan and Renault both have serious problems) and an amoral hyena. If the board of GM does not see something wrong with this, they should be dragged out and hanged. If I were a politician in Washington, I would be starting to pay attention to this.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Didn't Renault pair up with AMC in the 1970's with disasterous results? Renault was forced to leave the U.S. market to recoup their losses and AMC was sold to Chrysler. Is history repeating?
      • 8 Years Ago
      For the love of God people

      Renault does not OWN Nissan and Nissan doesn't OWN Renault

      It is an alliance 50 - 50 split

      Spread the Word
      • 8 Years Ago
      There is one possible jewel in the GM crown that Nissan/Renault might have their eye on.... GM-Daewoo Automobile Technology- It would give them a cheap builder of small cars, and that's something Nissan has been talking a lot about lately- hence its little JV with Suzuki.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think Flint is missing the point. He is right as far as it goes but what everybody should be thinking about is what is really going on. I don't believe that this was a sudden decision by Tracinda and Ghosn/Renault just said "hey what the hell let's check it out." There is absolutely no doubt that there is some kind of plot behind this. Kerkorian, Ghosn et al. and probably some unnamed GM shareholder have a plan. This plan involves taking over GM with the help of Renault. Each party to the plan has an angle and that's what we should be focusing on. What we have here is a hostile takeover attempt. The guys behind it are not interested in maintaining GM as a vital part of the US economic engine. Ghosn would fire every single worker in the US and move production somewhere else without hesitation if he thought it would lower costs. Kerkorian does not care whether people live or die, as long as he makes some bucks. These are the guys assaulting the bedrock of American manufacturing. And let's not forget who calls the shots at the end of the day. The French State is Renault's biggest shareholder. This all sounds like a dream come true for US manufacturing.
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