Forbes automotive columnist Jerry Flint provides a history lesson of various automotive couplings and even triads to illustrate that while a few have been beneficial to one or (rarely) all parties, most fall flat on their faces. None, however, are easy for any of the parties, successful or not.

Successful mergers, buyouts, partnerships, and other combos include General Motors' Daewoo purchase and its acquisition of the HUMMER name. Chryslers' purchase of American Motors (AMC) that not only gave Jeep to the automaker but a top notch engineering team. Interestingly, Renault sold its controlling shares of AMC because its French unions couldn't stand the thought of francs bolstering American products. Sound familiar, anyone?

But successful combinations are scarce. Flint discusses DaimlerChrysler's alliance with Hyundai Motors and, earlier, Mitsubishi, both of which fell apart. Ford nearly lost the Brazilian market with its ill-fated Volkswagen alliance in the "AutoLatina" venture. And Flint provides a litany on GM's failed alliances, from Fiat to Suzuki to Isuzu, and the cost of each to the company.

Flint isn't necessarily against mergers or alliances, he just points out that none of them, no matter how successful they are eventually, are ever easy.

[Source: Forbes]