Again, the New York Times' scribe cites two unnamed sources about the merger discussions, reporting that GM approached Ford with the proposal, only to have FoMoCo execs shoot down the idea after several meetings. The talks included GM CEO Rick Wagoner, president Frederick Henderson, Ford's executive chairman Bill Ford Jr. and chief exec Alan Mulally.
According to the NYT's shy sources, the Blue Oval boys broke off talks in September when Ford and Mulally came to the conclusion that Ford would be better off reorganizing on its own rather than being tied to another automaker.
The Detroit News got in on the action yesterday, citing another anonymous source that said, "There were never in-depth, substantive discussions that went on. It was more an expression of interest [on GM's part], as in, 'Do you want to talk?'" Ford declined.
While all these reports are great at selling dead trees (and generating page-views), it deserves noting that high-level discussions between automakers are nothing new and hardly uncommon. Recent discussions – particularly those in the cited time-frame of three or four months, when federal loans to Detroit's Big Three were on everyone's lips – are surely newsworthy, let's not forget that parts sharing, from transmissions to hybrid drivetrains, have been happening routinely over the last few years. All this leads us to believe that business between Motown's finest will continue unchanged (for better and worse) and that unbelievable headlines are exactly that.
[Sources: NYT, Detroit News]