• Oct 17, 2008
The latest rumors regarding Cerberus-owned Chrysler and its possible sale point to the breakup of Chrysler's assets, and in particular its brands. General Motors may be interested in bits and pieces of its cross-town rival, but perhaps not the entire automaker. Jeep is considered Chrysler's most valuable asset and was purchased by the automaker from Renault in the '80s, around the same time that AMC ceased to exist. A similar scenario may put Jeep back in the hands of Renault. This purchase could allow the French automaker an easier entry back into the U.S. market with dealerships and excess production capacity leftover from Chrysler.
General Motors main interests are rumored to be the minivan line along with some production sites, including the plant in Mexico that assembles Dodge Ram trucks. In exchange for the pieces of Chrysler that GM is interested in, the automaker could fork over its remaining 49-percent stake in GMAC to Cerberus. It's clear that all companies involved are still in negotiations, and it's completely possible that nothing changes hands at all. Round 'n round we go...

[Source: Reuters]


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  • 30 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Please, tell me it isn't true.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just for the record, AMC purchased Jeep from Kaiser in 1970. Renault purchased 46% of AMC in 1980, one years after entering a production / marketing agreement for AMC to distribute Renaults in the US. The Cherokee (and subsequently Comanche) were designed by Brooks Stevens Studios with negligible input from Renault. In 1987, Renault sold AMC and thus Jeep to Chrysler.
        • 6 Years Ago
        At the time I recall reading in the buff magazines that Renault had a significant impact in the direction of the Cherokee redesign. Remember that this was a major downsizing. At the very least Renault provided the funds, because AMC would have been hard pressed to pay for a much more evolutionary redesign.

        Dick Teague was still at AMC during this period, if I recall correctly. Are you saying that his shop subcontracted the work to Stevens' studio? I must admit that I've never heard that before.
      • 6 Years Ago
      No matter what your feelings are towards Chrysler, it is a great shame to see a great American icon being shred to pieces like this...

        • 6 Years Ago
        Having owned Chryslers, I couldn't agree with you less.

        Also having owned Nissans -- Renault's partner -- I don't think this would be much of an improvement. I say let GM take Chrysler behind the shed, and put it out of its misery. The question is, does Wagoner have the balls to do it?
        • 6 Years Ago
        >>> Sadly, I couldn't agree with you more.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Matt, I think the question is "does Wagoner have the money to do this". I'm betting the answer is "no", so it will be very difficult for GM to cut Chrysler dealers and Chrysler products. All this takes $$ that GM clearly does not have.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If Mopar dies, I'll be ill, seriously. Hummer? Screw them, who cares?
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Luigiian

        I would argue that the Hummer brand's recent D-listing is tied more to skyrocketing fuel prices than to any Iraq War image rub-off.

        Jeeps, for the most part, have always been reasonably frugal compared to Hummers, which seem to revel in their excess consumption and over-the-top styling. Both have serious off-road credentials, yes, but Jeep has managed to maintain its function-first reputation over the years. (The Grand Cherokee SRT8 and 5.9 Limited are excepted, of course.)

        Remember that Jeeps were also used extensively in Korea and (in M-151 form) Vietnam, but they didn't gain any negative stigma from those less-than-stellar adventures. It's like the adage about cops and their cruisers: You may not appreciate the reason for his stop, but you have to respect the car he drove up in.
        • 6 Years Ago
        ...How about the THOUSANDS OF TROOPS WHO DEPEND ON IT TO SURVIVE EVERY DAY IN IRAQ?

        ...Other than our troops, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

        It is interesting to note, though, the differences in public perception between Jeep and Hummer. Both are gas-guzzlers, both are off-road vehicles, both were designed originally for military use and were later adapted for public audiences.

        It's very much like the differences in perception behind the very wars each vehicle served in. Jeep served our troops in World War II especially, and even after that in Korea. It's viewed by most Americans as a vehicle of freedom and democracy.

        Meanwhile, Hummer served in Iraq primarily, and thus is bound to the conflict.

        It would be interesting to see public perception of the Hummer if the war in Iraq really had found weapons of mass destruction and was perceived as having wrested Iraqi freedom from the hands of Saddam. I'll bet its public image would be different.
        • 6 Years Ago
        fixit, I'm well aware that Hummers made in Iraq are made by AM General. Like I said, the Hummers most people see are adapted for civilian audiences. I also know the H1 was discontinued a while ago. But the H2, H3 and H1 all take the Hummer name; military Hummers have a respectable purpose, even if their civilian audiences do not actively see the original, important Hummer.

        Duncan, I also know that Jeeps were used extensively in Vietnam, but by then they had already developed their WWII reputation.

        The "cops and cruisers" analogy is good, and you're right that most of the Hummer's rep comes from its flamboyance, but I still think a part of the animosity directed towards it is because of the current war. It is not without irony, after all, that our American army uses one of the most fuel-inefficient vehicles that was ever put on the U.S. market (several years ago) in a war that many perceive as being fought for oil. It is not exactly a metaphorical victory for the United States, if only in that regard. And, yes, the Jeep is more fuel efficient than the Hummer, but it is no paragon of fuel economy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If they are going to sell the company brand by brand and line by line, then wouldn't Nissan be the most likely to buy the truck line since they already have a deal to share the platform?
        • 6 Years Ago
        That makes a great deal of sense... certainly more sense than GM wanting the RAM pickups.

        I am praying that GM can stay in existence and avoid acting as executioner on Cerberus' behalf. Please Daimler - do not sell your 19.9%.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If Jeep goes to Nissan/Renault, which I don't think is a fantastic idea, I see a magical reversal of fortune for GM's Hummer, as people change up to the remaining american off-road brand. I didn't like the prospect of Hummer going to a foreign brand, either.

      Other than that, this does not look good from any angle.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Nah, I disagree. Hummer started out as a trendy brand (just ask the Governator) and hasn't really shed that image. Yes, the vehicles are capable, but the associated "Hummer mystique" seems to wearing a little thin these days.

        And for all the hand-wringing about foreign ownership, it seems to me that Jeeps sold just as well under the DCX combine as they ever did under AMC-Renault (the first time) or Chrysler. If a vehicle offers what people want and is priced right, it will sell no matter whose name is on the tin.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Back in the 1980's if you wanted to buy a Jeep vehicle in Santa Barbara, CA or most other places you bought it at the local Renault/Jeep dealership. So there is nothing new in this possible deal.
      • 6 Years Ago
      yes!
      • 6 Years Ago
      If I were in the business of selling Chrysler
      products, while I am up these sleepless
      nights I sure would be hoping that this plan
      would play out, at least I would have a chance to keep my dealership open even if I were to sell Renaults next to Jeeps! If Chrysler were to completely gobbled up by GM, then I'm out of business!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Jeep to the French? HELL F@#%*!# NO!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Clearly, this one is unaware that the Jeep Cherokee and other jeeps of the early 80's were designed with strong input and assistance from Renault...when the French owned AMC, of which Jeep was a part at the time.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Way to overreact. Was one of your fists clenched when you typed that?

        As long as Jeeps are still built in America and the brand survives, I could give two tenths of a crap who owns the rights. Too bad that the story makes no mention of Chrysler or Dodge, other than to imply that their real estate might be used for future Renault outlets.

        Of course, we should recall how well Renault's last go-round in the American market went - Fuego, anyone? Or perhaps you'd be happier with "Le Car" instead.

        I'm just sad to see the once-mighty Mopar juggernaut reduced to little more than a bargaining chip among dueling gamblers.
      • 6 Years Ago
      How ironic. Chrysler bought Jeep from Renault a generation ago, and now Renault may be in the mix to buy it back.

      In this case the old saying is true, "Life is a circle. What goes around comes around."
      • 6 Years Ago
      What wrong with Reanult buying Jeep if they owned it in the first place?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Renault didn't own Jeep in the first place. Renault bought what was left of AMC and sold it to Chrysler. In the late 70's, a lot of AMC dealers were also Renault dealers (at least in NJ). I used to go there as a kid and drool at the Fuego (which should have been a sign to my parents that I needed therapy).
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