Automotive News reported early this morning that senior executives within Ford and GM have explored the possibility of an alliance, even a merger, in the near future.
The supposed talks between the two Detroit titans began sometime in July, soon after Rick Wagoner and Carlos Ghosn began investigating the benefits of a GM/Renault/Nissan threesome. The sources cited by Automotive News have not been able to confirm who opened the door to the talks, with one insider saying that Wagoner was the instigator, while another source disputes that assertion. It is known that a possible merger was discussed between the General's CFO, Fritz Henderson and Don Leclair, Ford's own CFO sometime in August.
Although the idea of a Ford/GM alliance may seem odd at first glance, one only needs to look at the tremendous stake each company has in the other's continued existence. The most potentially catastrophic scenario would include GM or Ford declaring bankruptcy, leaving their mutual parts suppliers blowing in the financial winds and subsequently cutting off the other from much-needed materials. It could be argued that both would go down and quickly.
Although it's doubtful anything of this magnitude would come to fruition, the dependency each of the players share may warrant a second look at a union between what's left of the 'Big 3.' At this point however, spokespeople for both GM and Ford are relying on the "no comment" approach to get them through the next few days.
[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]