Cerberus is eager to dump Chrysler
From our friends @ allpar:
As the yiddish curse goes, we live in interesting times. If the rumors are true (and no official word has been released to counter them), it now appears that Cerberus is eager to dump Chrysler, and has been trying to do so for some time, quite probably without telling Jim Press or Tom LaSorda anything about it. The mainstream media have been pretty harsh with Chrysler, with The Economist among others saying outright that, aside from some outdated minivans and the Jeep name (not any actual Jeeps!), Chrysler has absolutely nothing anyone in their right mind would want. Perhaps The Economist gets its information from Autoblog and Daimler, but we've called them on it and made a brief list of some of Chrysler's better and lesser known assets which GM would probably dearly love.
These are not linked from the home page - visit:
Anyway, Allpar will remain even if Chrysler and Dodge disappear. I am hoping at this point that if a deal does go down, it will end up with Chrysler joining Renault and Nissan and remaining pretty much as they are today, except using Americanized versions of Renault and/or Nissan small and mid-sized cars. Most automakers have a hard time selling their Asian and European models directly, without any changes, in the U.S., and there would probably not be a lot of jobs lost if Renault-Nissan took over (or if they did a simple equity swap and ended up co-owning chunks of each other.)
A takeover by GM would, I hope, not be as disastrous as the commentators (the same ones who loved the idea of Daimler taking over) believe. They're drooling over the possibility of seeing tens or even hundreds of thousands of Americans thrown out of work. Apparently the folks at the Wall Street Journal, Detroit News, and other such publications think it's fun for people to lose their jobs; they seem positively eager to see Chrysler and GM punished for the foolish mistakes of its "leaders." But I'm hoping that GM is sensible enough to want Chrysler for more than its cash (I can't believe I just wrote that) and its Jeep name brand and minivans. Dodge's trucks are clearly superior to GM's, its technical center is far above GM's, its electric cars might well be complementary...
...in short, I'm thinking that a GM-Chrysler takeover would probably result in the Dodge and Jeep brands remaining (I can't see the Chrysler brand surviving a takeover no matter who does it) with fewer job losses than predicted. Yes, the mid-sized cars would go; but I don't know about the Patriot and Caliber. With an Ecotech four, they'd become much more attractive for a while. Eventually they'd be merged with GM's European and Asian small car designs, but Chrysler is so lean already, I don't see much in the way of cutbacks. Part of it comes down to whether Rick Wagoner would remain in charge. I don't think he has what it takes to eliminate the parts of GM that are not up to speed... including pulling the cord on GMC and either Buick or Pontiac. (Or both.) And with the government pouring billions into banks... we don't seem to be getting much out of that yet. They're apparently still not making loans. The central bank claimed it was going to start making commercial loans, but that apparently doesn't mean they'll make any to the automakers.
We live in interesting times.
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