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Toyota considering link with GM

RU482

Lifer
Apr 9, 2000
12,686
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REPORT: Toyota considering GM linkup

Toyota Motor Corp. is considering making a bid to link with General Motors, according to a report in BusinessWeek magazine. The move would be aimed at trumping a proposed alliance between GM and Renault-Nissan.

The magazine reported Saturday that Toyota "is considering its options and looking at different opportunities that they could propose to GM." It said Toyota executives have "war gamed" possible scenarios by which it could help GM with its turnaround.

BusinessWeek quoted an unnamed Toyota executive who said, "Toyota has no interest in seeing an alliance like this [involving Renault, Nissan and GM] take place."

GM CEO Rick Wagoner and Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn met Friday night in Detroit. The companies later issued a joint statement saying they will take about 90 days to explore potential benefits of a tie-up.

Wagoner hinted to Automotive News last week that deals with other automakers besides Renault-Nissan are possible.

"Could other things arise?" he said. "Sure, they could happen any time, but nothing else I can talk to you about today."
 

Atheus

Diamond Member
Jun 7, 2005
7,313
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If I was going for world domination, I'd pick Renault, Nissan and GM - just to have one in every major car manufacturing center.
 

RU482

Lifer
Apr 9, 2000
12,686
2
81
What's really on Carlos Ghosn's mind? Stopping the Toyota juggernaut

David Sedgwick | | Automotive News / July 13, 2006 - 6:42 pm


Until today, it wasn't clear to me what Carlos Ghosn expects to gain from an alliance between Renault, Nissan and General Motors. Now I understand. He's aiming at Toyota.

I'll give Ghosn credit: He thinks big. He knows that Nissan and Renault don't have enough firepower to stop Toyota's steamroller. During a Thursday interview with CNBC, Ghosn said the alliance would not target any particular automaker.

But Toyota clearly dominates Nissan in Asia and North America. With General Motors on his side, Ghosn just might be able to break Toyota's momentum. Maybe, just maybe?

Ghosn also has demonstrated his tactical finesse. On Friday, he meets with GM CEO Rick Wagoner in Detroit to discuss the proposed alliance. In advance of that meeting, he wooed investors by spelling out his vision for an alliance in a series of interviews.

During Thursday's interview with CNBC, he shot down several objections to an alliance, and he also reached out to potential allies.

First, Ghosn says he doesn't want to be chief executive of General Motors. He can't run three companies at once, he says. Now, no one can accuse him of being a powermonger.

Second, Ghosn suggests that Nissan could use some of GM's North American production capacity. Nissan wouldn't have to invest in a new plant, and GM could save more assembly plants - and hourly jobs.

That would be a powerful lure to the embattled United Auto Workers, which knows that GM will ask for big concessions during next year's contract talks.

And in a deft move, Ghosn suggested that GM, Nissan and Renault form joint teams to study the alliance's possible benefits. Each company would contribute an expert to study purchasing, product development, production, etc.

As you doubtless recall, GM's Rick Wagoner wants to form his own in-house committee. He can control his own committee; he cannot control a team of experts from GM, Renault and Nissan.

It's true that Wagoner could simply turn down Ghosn's proposal. But investors would be outraged - especially if GM's turnaround loses momentum. It's going to be a long, hot summer.
 

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