Currently, there are 130 different automakers existing in China, and in an effort to create stronger companies, the Chinese government will be releasing plans to encourage mergers and buyouts between the different manufacturers. These new guidelines, drawn up by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, is said to prohibit automakers from building new plants unless they acquire another existing manufacturer first.
We have a feeling historians will spending a fair portion of next few years finding new words to describe just how bad this year was for the auto industry. And then, at some point, they'll get around to Volkswagen, a company that has been zagging while almost all others zigged. Over the last twelve months, VW has taken a stake in Suzuki, bought Karmann, won European Car of the Year, won the Dakar Rally, turned its eye to F1, released a litter of well received cars, put autonomous cars everywhere
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.
This executive cycle isn't uncommon, especially in Germany: CEO displays great leadership over time, then decides to do something daring, then gets caught in a series of unfortunate events, then gets a tarnished reputation, then departs the formerly high-flying company (see also: "Schrempp" and "Pischetsrieder"). Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking is hoping to avoid that last phase, and his company has been fighting back rumors that his departure is imminent.
Volkswagen labor union chief Bernd Osterloh has called out Porsche's CEO for holding up a merger between the two German automakers: "Together, one could do a whole lot of more things if [Wendelin] Wiedeking would end his ego trip." Osterloh believes Wiedeking is standing in the way of a tie-up with VW, and his repeated thrusts and parries are only making things difficult for both companies.
The way things read, Porsche might not have to get a merger deal done with Volkswagen, but it would appear to be in the carmaker's best interests if it does. The holdup seems to be Porsche – since VW still doesn't know what Porsche's financial situation is, talks broke down earlier this week. VW's labor leader, who has a seat on VW's board, has also said he doesn't want to speak to Porsche again until Porsche tells everyone what it really has in mind.
Porsche's merger with Volkswagen is a step back from Porsche taking outright control of VW, something the automaker has been fighting various German entities to do for over a year. The willingness to co-exist is being put down to Porsche's debt levels, which can't be easy to refinance when banks are holding on to their money like a toddler guarding his last chocolate Easter bunny.
According to an affidavit filed in the New York U.S. Bankruptcy Court where Chrysler filed for Chapter 11, the automaker's Co-President and Vice Chairman Tom LaSorda is quoted as saying "Chrysler has attempted in recent weeks to sell product lines and other units to a number of Chinese companies, but these efforts ... have been unsuccessful." The now bankrupt automaker offered the Chinese firms – including the Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. and Chery – engines, transmissions
Here at Autoblog reports regularly cross our desks suggesting all sorts of contorted deals supposedly being brokered between automakers. This one's in bed with that one, that one's selling the other but retaining a minority interest, another one's starting a joint venture with yet another while buying part of its competitor. And we try to make sense of it all, if not for your sake then for our own sanity's, but some are just way over the top. Like this latest report that suggests that, in essenc
It's the General Motors and Chrysler merger saga, take three. A few months ago, GM said "No can do" to the union, taking off its ring and walking out of church. Now GM's bondholders may be contemplating a shotgun wedding, forcing The General back to the altar over the debt-equity swap the automaker needs to conclude to have a chance at more government financing.
David Cole at the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) says that there is going to be another round of mergers in the auto industry. That's not difficult to swallow, with execs at smaller companies like Renault's Carlos Ghosn having been on the hunt for good alliances for years. Even German nemeses BMW and Mercedes have been mooting the idea of working together on small engines, which doesn't sound so crazy today, but a few years ago would have had their respective fans in apoplexy.
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.
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