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      07-05-2006, 08:34 AM   #1
Brookside
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See The USA in Your Altima (Chevrolet) (Renault)


Carlos Ghosn

Nissan, Renault, GM Alliance?
An alliance of Kirk Kerkorian, deputy Jerome York, and Nissan and Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn could have big implications for General Motors—and the car business as a whole

When billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp. investment firm on June 30 went public with its intention to push General Motors (GM)—in which he is a 10% shareholder—to line up with France's Renault and Japan's Nissan, the instant buzz was that it would create a potentially powerful three-way alliance. The triumvirate would shake the auto business far more than the merger a few years ago that formed DaimlerChrysler.

Sure, the tripartite alliance would sell 14.3 million cars and trucks a year and have joint revenues of $327 billion. The three carmakers could share a dizzying array of engines, parts, and vehicle platforms, plus flex their combined muscle with huge marketing and distribution chains that are deeply rooted in every atuo market around the globe.

But that's not the troika that will really command attention. The one to watch is the emerging alliance among Kerkorian, his deputy and GM board member Jerome B. York, and Carlos Ghosn, the chief executive of Nissan and Renault, which has a controlling 33.4% stake in Nissan. "These guys are players, and they want to play at the big league level," said David E. Cole, executive director of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich.

EXPLORING OPTIONS.* The earth-shaking possibility looming on the horizon is that the three power brokers could end up gaining a big hand in running GM. Sources say that when GM's board met by teleconference at noon on June 30, the company's directors mostly were receptive to the possibility of a tie-up with Renault-Nissan. A minority of members said York should have taken the idea straight to GM Chairman and CEO G. Richard Wagoner Jr. rather than holding private meetings with Ghosn. Sources say even board leader George M.C. Fisher, long a Wagoner supporter, agreed to at least explore options.

Sources say Wagoner feels threatened by the possibility. There may be good reason. York has publicly expressed his admiration for Ghosn and his quick turnaround at Nissan. The former IBM (IBM) and Chrysler chief financial officer has also made rapid-fire suggestions for how to fix GM, suggesting dissatisfaction with Wagoner's leadership. GM, Renault, and Tracinda have declined comment beyond the statements released June 30.

York's power play could be a Trojan horse strategy, promising the gift of engineering synergies in an alliance but ultimately moving to bring in new leadership at GM. If GM's board buys into the idea and Renault gets a large minority stake, at the very least Ghosn will almost certainly get a seat on the board. Once he gets his nose under the tent, the possibility of Ghosn taking a bigger role becomes more than York's wishful thinking.


More > http://www.businessweek.com/autos/co...702_369376.htm
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      07-08-2006, 08:36 PM   #2
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The GM Alliance talks are happening so fast it's almost impossible to track the events as they unfold...
there's speculation that these talks are the mere mainpulation of publicity to bolster the stock of all three companies.

As a result, I'm not trying to update this thread with a blow by blow description.

However, I think it's a real negotiation proposition...whether it results in a merger is anyone's guess.
You would think that any real possibilty will be after the suits and beancounters explore this to a full extent to satisfy shareholders and the various govt. regulations.

I do remember that sometime ago...perhaps early 90's, that there was talk of Ford buying BMW...
now it would seem that the tables turned and a sale would work the other way around.......just a thought.
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