Ghosn Keeps Distance from Chrysler
Carlos Ghosn has long been seeking an “alliance” with a North American auto manufacturer, striking out at General Motors (when he had corporate vulture Kirk Kerkorian trying to push the idea on the GM management), but still on the prowl. Having struck several joint venture deals recently with the new Chrysler, rumors have abounded that Chrysler might finally make Ghosn’s dream come true.
But, Ghosn says that Chrysler isn’t interested in being the alliance partner with Renault or its Japanese partner, Nissan. He said that Renault and, particularly, Nissan would continue to enter into such joint venture deals with Chrysler and with other auto manufacturers, as well.
But, Chrysler is not the alliance partner for which Ghosn has been searching. "I don’t think the opportunity is there today," he said. "We are not in a hurry." He also ruled out collaborating on purchasing, pointing out that this requires a basic commonality of platforms which the companies neither now have nor contemplate having in the future.
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With GM and Chrysler out of the running as the Renault “alliance” partner of Ghosn’s dreams, it would seem that only Ford remains as an eligible contestant. With Kirk Kerkorian fishing for more than 5% of Ford’s publicly held common stock and Kerkorian’s past efforts to push GM into an alliance with Renault, maybe we’ll see another such effort, this one in Dearborn.
Maybe Bill Ford, Jr. should take Rick Wagoner to lunch. Wagoner has successfully given the brush to both Kerkorian and Ghosn.