Nissan and Chrysler. Can't We Get These Two Kids Together?

Posted by: David Kiley on May 1, 2008

Sitting with Carlos Ghosn, CEO of both Renault and Nissan, this week at our offices, I became pretty sure I was looking at the future CEO of Chrysler.

He told us that the deals to supply Chrysler with a Versa and to have Chrysler build Nissan’s Titans are deals that stand alone. And they are.

Ghosn also said that this is a time where the markets wouldn’t like to try and absorb a big deal like Renault-Nissan taking on Chrysler. I don’t know about that. Deals are still cooking in other industries. Ghosn still wants a North American alliance partner. I don’t ever see it being Ford. And GM was a non-starter. Unless he is eyeballing Tesla or Shelby, Chrysler is it.

What seems pretty clear is that Chrysler LLC owner Cerberus Capital would love love love to off-load the automaker for more than it has put in, even if it’s $5.00. Center for Automotive Research chsirman David Cole told me this week that, “Cerberus doesn’t have a lot of time with this thing.”

Carlos knows that he is really the only game in town for Chrysler. Ghosn, in my estimation, is smart. He sees Chrysler’s price going down from here, not up. And he can afford to wait Cerberus out for a while.

Meantime, DaimlerChrysler Daimler AG has reduced the value of its minority stake in Chrysler LLC by almost two-thirds after the U.S. automaker made a 340 million euro ($529.1 million) punch to Daimler’s pretax profits in the first quarter.

Daimler retained a 19.9 percent stake in Chrysler when it sold the majority control in August 2007 to Cerberus. Daimler now values its stake in Chrysler at 547 million euros ($851.2 million). At the time of the sale, Daimler valued the stake at 1.4 billion euros ($2.18 billion.

Reader Comments

antonio311

May 2, 2008 4:24 AM

Chrysler doesn't need any partners! Within the next 3 years Chrysler will be the hottest Car company on the planet! Maybe Chrysler will be Purchasing Renault-Nissan!!! Don't ever think Chrysler needs to be a part of another company, they can be independent and also be competitive!!!

Karl

May 2, 2008 9:57 AM

There are too many Auto Manufacturers! There are too many Auto Dealerships in the USA also! Both Nissan & Chrysler should just come to terms with that reality and get into something else!! Maybe they can get involved in the development of solar power!! The Germans are doing it and it's becoming quite successful over there.

Ecofriendly

May 2, 2008 10:40 AM

Nissan has better prospects of going alone than buying chrysler.

As it shows with the American market almost wiped out of Truck sales, the only cars hereon are going to sell are eco-friendly cars.

Chrysler product lines are devoid of any eco-friendly cars. The 650 mil dollars which were injected into two axle plants that Cereberus got in dowry from Daimler duting the split are up for sale.

Chrysler was trying to build trucks (Ram, Durango) and cab like cars (Caliber, Charger) and huge ugly SUV's(Aspen, Avenger) when Ford was re-inventing the Ford Taurus with its new incarnations - Focus and Fusion.

Cereberus processes have been deemed ineffective and useless...to the world it costs us huge amounts of steel and pollution for this car company to go on.

I would suggest Mr.ghosn to look for a nicer partner in US...maybe wait for Ford to meltdown a little.

and003

May 3, 2008 2:09 AM

I don't know about anyone else, Ecofriendly, but I, for one, would like Chrysler to hang around a little longer so they CAN develop eco-friendly cars. As for Cerberus' processes being ineffective and useless, I guess you haven't heard about the improvements made to the Dodge Journey ... or the 16% increase in sales of the Dodge Caliber, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot. Overall Chrysler sales are down by 23.5%, however. As for Chrysler not needing partners, Antonio311 ... while Cerberus has made it plain they'd like to keep Chrysler independent, I wouldn't put it past them to get into a partnership if they believe it will help Chrysler, and anything that can help Chrysler is something I wouldn't mind, especially considering the state Daimler AG left it in.

Bill Senefsky

May 4, 2008 12:53 PM


Just what the brand needs is yet another so called global merger.
You folks have a short memory,remember what the Renault boys did to AMC.
Daimler certainly didn't set the world on fire either.
As far as what's left of poor Chrysler's brand base is concerned, "First time shame you, second time shame on me, third time not even interested."

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