Author Topic: Is GM buying Chrysler?  (Read 1520 times)

Charles D. Barnette #1465

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Is GM buying Chrysler?
« on: February 19, 2007, 12:09:44 PM »
I heard on the news Friday that GM was contemplating buying Chrysler! What is going on? Today I heard Chrysler is up for sale and that GM and Chrysler were going to build a joint SUV! Someone please explain. Charles D. Barnette

Geoff Newcombe #4719

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Mike Josephic #3877

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Re: Is GM buying Chrysler?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2007, 09:01:04 PM »

Since all of the "big three" are running deep in red ink, there is a lot of speculation as to what the solutions will be.  Consolidation is one possible route, although as weve all seen that the Daimler-Chrysler merger has been a disaster.  There will be many more possible solutions that will be sent to the media over the next months -- I would not take any of them too seriously for now.

These business events tend to go in cycles -- first divesting then consolidation then, if needed, bankrupcy.  Ford is very close to the brink, having a $29 Billion note to pay in 2009.
I think well all see many drastic changes to the industry over the next 3-5 years.  

One thing that will occur is a consolidation fo the number of dealerships for the big three -- too many dealers in too small a geographic area.  It was bound to happen.

Mike Josephic

Rusty Shepherd CLC 6397

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Re: Is GM buying Chrysler?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2007, 10:31:32 AM »
The ill-starred merger of Studebaker and Packard has often been characterized as one sinking ship tying onto another. I cant help but wonder if this is a case of one listing ship tying onto another.

John Tozer # 7946

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Re: Is GM buying Chrysler?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2007, 06:58:18 PM »

You may be interested in knowing what is happening in Australia at the moment from the point of view of a country, albeit very much smaller, but very similar to the US in that its market has, for years, been dominated by "the big two" - GM and Ford in that order. Both are in trouble domestically and not really making it internationally (other than for New Zealand but, given the size of that market, what GM sell there almost qualifies as "car dumping". They will be a seventh state of Oz in about ten years anyway.)

The market here in the last ten years has exploded with choice.

Thirty to forty years ago you had the choice between a GM Holden "Premier" or "Standard", a Ford Falcon Futura or Fairmont. Funny people who sent there kids to "alternative" schools and meditated a lot might lash out and buy a European or British car and the rest of us would nod knowingly when we saw it parked on the side of the highway with the hood up. A fringe would invest in a Chrysler Valiant (they pulled out about 30 years ago), a Nissan (stopped building here about 20 years ago), a Toyota (actually still No. 2 here) or a Mitsubishi (you can probably get an internet bet on precisely when they will stop manufacture here of the only car that the five year warranty they give will out-live the company that is giving it!)

Our economy is the 14th largest in the world and has grown every year for the last 20 odd years so we have the disposable income to be able to afford a new car about every four years on average.... but we are still only 20+ million people! The market simply isnt big enough for the general population to demand and be given the vast choice in makes, models, options that we now have, and continue to manufacture just for Oz and NZ.

The problem with expanding the market is that we dont really have product that the rest of the world wants(the Mitsubishi Magna - as we called it here. Dont know what it was/is called in the US where we export/ed it to - is a classic example as is the ill-fated Pontiac GTO - a Holden Monaro re-badged).

I believe the problem is the same with US Cars. They just dont sell outside the US. Despite the size of our economy and the general wealth of the population, you could count the few Chrysler PT Cruisers and 300Cs here on your fingers and toes. We would not know what a Cadillac or a Buick, a Lincoln or a Mercury looked like..... and the only ones who can do anything to remedy that so that I could have the same choice in cars from these makers as I have from Renault, Honda, Peugeot, BMW, Saab, Volvo, Kia, Hyundai, etc. etc. etc. are the US manufacturers.

Give us the right product and we will buy it. Sound familiar?

Just my 20 cents worth.

John Tozer

john fotakis CLC#23436

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Re: Is GM buying Chrysler?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2007, 09:50:22 PM »
Things will only get tougher in the Australian market for GM and Ford. Korean quality is improving, the Chinese are coming and tariffs are dropping. They have for years also lagged behind the Japanese in quality control and reliability and the Europeans in quality and "prestige"-something intangible but  desirable in an affluent society. In fact Toyota last month sold nearly as many cars as GM and Ford combined. Everyone loves Corollas.

Rusty Shepherd CLC 6397

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Two automotive worlds
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2007, 10:12:38 PM »
That is an extremely interesting perpective of the automotive scene half a world away from most of us. We in the U. S. have an unfortunate tendency to be extremely America-centric in our world view and it helps to have someone remind us that we are only a small part of the earth although we use a very dispropotion amount of the worlds resources (although China is catching up with us on that front) by so many of us making 200 mile solo commutes in Escalades and F250 Super Duty pickup trucks among other fuelish things.  Just the population figure got my attention: my state, Texas, has roughly the same population as your vast country.

Bruce Reynolds # 18992

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Re: Two automotive worlds
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2007, 11:10:27 PM »
Gday Rusty,

Yes, and Western Australia it large enough to fit your State of Texas in it twice, with a bit left over that take a couple of your smaller States.

And with Australia roughly the size as Continental USA, we have only  5 States and 2 Territories, where you have 48 States.

The whole of England will fit in the State of Victoria.

Plus, as 90percent of the Residents of Australia live within the coastal fringes, there is no real need for big cars, and that is why Toyota is doing so well with their 4 cylinder car sales.   Plus, with out 65 mph maximum speed limits, there is no real reason to own a high performance car.

The Tassie Devil(le),
60 CDV

Rusty Shepherd CLC 6397

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Re: Two automotive worlds
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2007, 09:24:18 AM »
Yep, Bruce, we do have speed limits ranging up to 80 MPH in west Texas, but those of us who live in the metropolitan Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and El Paso areas spend a great deal of our motoring time creeping along in traffic jams. Its so bad that a recent cartoon showed a couple of guys sitting in a sea of cars and the passenger says to the driver "Wow, your 400 horsepower V-8 certainly does idle smoothly".

John Tozer #7946

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Re: Two automotive worlds
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2007, 01:11:02 AM »

Interesting point. "For all the differences we remain pretty much the same".

These posts have started me thinking about what prompts me to buy a car now compared to way back when I was younger than my now 58 years. The comparison is interesting.

Just recently I traded my 5 1/2 year old 4 x 4 wagon (I got virtually NOTHING for it even though it was fully optioned and in very nice condition) on an equally well optioned "Dual Cab" pick-up (we refer to it as a "ute" as in "utility vehicle"). I use this vehicle for my work and I wanted a decent tow vehicle for my camper. There is a huge range available in this sector of the industry with GM, Ford, Toyota (probably the front-runner), Mazda, Nissan (my choice) and Mitsubishi all providing alternatives. There are 4 x 2 and 4 x 4 versions of each, petrol and diesel in each of these categories, and bottom range, mid range and top of the range versions of these. Thats about 70 alternatives to choose from .....and thats in this one sector of the market only! Dont get me started on the 4 x 4 wagon sector!

So I bought a top of the range, 4 x 2 Nissan petrol dual-cab ute. now I am asking myself, does it excite me? No, it is purely utilitarian but it is certainly comfortable. Likes a drink but not as much as its 4 x 4 predecessor or a V8 alternative. How long has it been since I got excited by a vehicle? Cant remember!

At a barbecue recently a bunch of my mates tried to think of what list of cars had excited us enough to want to put them away in a shed if we could have anything they liked from the last ten years. After an hours discussion/argument/debate we all agreed there was nothing, nix, nought we would park from that period. Then we tried to work out why not. Was it because we have become so used to the sort of vast choice referred to above that we are literally "spoiled for choice" and nothing really stands out anymore? Or is it because, for all the choice, everything is pretty much the same?

We figured it was probably a bit of both but we were unanimous in wanting SOME manufacturer to come up with something that would blow our socks off!

It aint happened yet but we will continue to live in hope. In the meantime the "Big two or three" had better hope that all that iron ore that my country sends, and all the scrap steel that your country sends to China now doesnt get fashioned into that excitement machine or it will, with their labour costs and total lack of concern for the environment, blow all our socks off!

Another 50 cents worth.

John Tozer


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