Carlos Ghosen, chief executive of Nissan and Renault.
In recent months GM has been entertaining thoughts of forming an alliance with Nissan-Renault. Top executives from both companies have come together to discuss the details of how a partnership between GM and Nissan should be pursued and what the possibilities would be. If plans go forward for some type of merger Nissan-Renault could end up with as much as a 20% piece of GM.
According to a recent BusinessWeek Online article, Toyota may also be poised to make a play at GM. Unwilling to let their direct competition get the upper hand so easily the rumor mill has it that Toyota is working an up an offer of their own to hedge off a potential GM-Nissan-Renault alliance (pun intended). Toyota is also worried about the possibility of GM falling apart altogether and the repercussions it would have throughout the entire auto industry. Because it is in there best interest to keep GM around they may be willing to help bail the US auto manufacturer out with some type of partial buy-out.
Renault Alliance. A terrible vehicle.
GM and Toyota do have a history together which includes several joint production plants and even a couple joint-effort vehicles like the mid-’80s Chevy Nova. But will this past working relationship give Toyota any kind of edge in bidding war for GM? Since I don’t want to pile speculation on top of speculation I’ll simply say that it remains to be seen. Whatever happens, it is looking increasingly likely that someone will step in to help out GM. And what about ailing Ford? Word around the office is that if GM balks at the offer from Nissan-Renault, Ford might step right in to accept it. Is that enough conjecture for you?