• Nov 20, 2009
With all the trials and tribulations General Motors has endured during the past year, we almost forgot that the Detroit, MI-based automaker nearly got itself tied up with Renault-Nissan. Back in 2006, the two companies discussed joining forces to become a singular global automotive juggernaut, but in the end, GM felt it was in its best interests to go it alone and face the quickly disintegrating global automotive market by themselves.

While GM's situation ultimately improved via bankruptcy and a $50 billion helping hand from the U.S. government, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn still thinks the partnership would have been "without a doubt" in everyone's best interests. Ghosn reportedly made the comments during a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations, adding that "there was a possibility to create something that would be extremely competitive."

Ghosn then went on to say that he wasn't happy the two companies didn't end up working together after GM nearly collapsed because "when you see the disaster and the waste of energy and skills and talent, nobody can be happy." The charismatic CEO also said that Renault-Nissan was very concerned about GM's precarious position earlier in the year due to the fact that his company uses many of the same suppliers. If GM had gone down, it would have probably taken more than a few suppliers with it, and Ghosn says that as a result, Nissan wouldn't have been able to make a single vehicle in North America.

While we can definitely understand why Ghosn would have preferred that the marriage of his company to GM was consecrated, we still don't see how it would have helped The General in the long run. GM still would have been in a very uncompetitive cash situation, and Renault-Nissan doesn't have much in the way of technology or platforms that the General doesn't already the equivalents to.

[Source: The Detroit News | Image: Raveendran/AFP/Getty]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, for one thing, Carlos has those *wonderful* eyebrows. GM could use that. And for another, he looks like he is Paula Abdul's father. After all both he and Abdul are half Brazilian and half Lebanese. There!
      • 5 Years Ago
      THINGS is still in the URL and RSS feeds.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah, and GM-Renault/Nissan partnership would have been of little benefit to GM. They'd probably be able to source parts more cheaply.

      But the last thing they needed was more brands competing with each other in the high-volume market.

      Opel/Vauxhall, Renault, and Nissan would have competed with each other in Europe. Daewoo and Samsung would have competed with each other in South Korea. And Nissan and Chevrolet/Pontiac/Saturn/GMC would have competed with each other for the volume market in North America.

      And between Infiniti's launch in Europe, Cadillac's continual struggle there, and Saab's struggle for survival, period, the luxury end of the scale for the newly-formed company would have been a total basket case.

      Thank God GM was smart enough to stick with dealing their own troubles instead of taking on more in a merger with another massive company. They dodged the merger bullet with Fiat two years before and with Chrysler two years after, as well. It's a good thing they did, too.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's quite clear that you are American. Saab is not a luxury brand in Europe, and neither is Cadillac.

        Infiniti is obviously too new to be anywhere near that class, I've never even seen one here, I doubt it will ever get that recognition. There are just too many competitors.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Andrew,

        Thank you for pointing out my nationality.

        However, your assumption that I don't know what I'm talking about is wide of the mark.

        Infiniti, Cadillac, and Saab may not be "luxury" like Mercedes-Benz is, but the luxury market is what their parent companies' ambitions for each brand were/are. Would you agree that all three brands are at least upmarket of Opel, Renault, and Nissan?

        Infiniti was just about to come on-line in Europe in 2006, from nothing. Cadillac was (and still is) selling less than 1,000 cars annually there after 10 years of attempting to sell cars there. And Saab has been teetering on the brink.

        My whole point was that the two companies couldn't manage their "premium" brands (if you prefer that term to "luxury") in Europe before the merger was proposed. Having three half-assed brands in Europe would have been an even bigger disaster.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, as a part owner of GM, make me an offer for my shares. At this point I will be happy to get 10 cents on the dollar.
      • 5 Years Ago
      He thinks guys, thinks.... at least I hope so.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm available for work if AB wants a proofreader. They certainly could use one.
      • 5 Years Ago
      We will never know now. It's like losing a sh*tload of money in Vegas and thought that we should have done something different hours earlier.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "And here I was, in the Amazon, wrestling a fifty-foot Anaconda, while Marlin Perkins merely watched from the bank..."
      • 5 Years Ago
      Four out of 5 posts agree... this title is grammatically incorrect!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I know its Friday, but maybe they should wait until lunch to start drinking
      • 5 Years Ago
      Stare at that picture long enough and you'll swear Ghosn is staring back. Right into your soul.

      Seriously, though. He and Mark LaNeve should start their own creepy-looking-guy company.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I agree with Ghosn and Kerkorian: GM should've taken the Renault deal. Ghosn would've done similar reforms (or more)to what GM did a few months ago during bankruptcy, but without govt assistance and it would've happened two years ago.
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