By on October 2, 2011


Or was it GM that proposed? “General Motors Co. Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner secretly proposed a merger with Ford Motor Co. in 2008, a year before GM’s bankruptcy filing, the New York Times reported.” That explosive revelation is made today by Bloomberg.  And OMG, Rick Wagoner turned down the deal! Isn’t anything secret sacred anymore?

Of course, TTAC goes straight to the source. Here it is! In the New York Times!

“Before General Motors began exploring a possible merger with Chrysler — talks that first came to light on Friday — G. M. proposed a similar deal with its other cross-town rival, the Ford Motor Company, two people with knowledge of the talks said Saturday.”

That NYT article is dated October 11, 2008. The video above is from a few days after.

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22 Comments on “Slow Newsday Edition: Ford Proposes Merger To GM...”

  • avatar

    I suppose anything is preferable to became extinct. And the company was in dire strait at the time, with the future looked very bleak indeed. So they were really in survival mode. Anything goes!

  • avatar

    Kudos to Ford for turning them down.

    The whole episode in July of 08 shows the clueless nature and arrogance of the Wagoner Era. If you can’t stem the bleeding of the behemoth with its multiple brands and administrative layers, then make it even larger – with more brands.

    • 0 avatar

      Very true Old & Slow, sounds just like the federal government and alot of state governments. Hopelessly in debt and just continue deficit spending. Clueless indeed. Yes GM was clueless and it sadly dates back further than the Wagoneer Era.

      56 BelAire…………..also old and slow:-))

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    I own a Ford product and am very happy with.

    Should Government Motors merge with Ford, guess I’ll have to go completely Japanese or Korean.

    The GM “Shoddy is More than Good Enough” philosophy will ruin Ford.

  • avatar

    I doubt that Rick Wagoner was pursuing a merger, per se. He most likely wanted a strings-free source of cash that he could burn as he desired, while he retained all of his authority. Without access to credit and with no equity to sell, a merger that would put cash on the balance sheet was his only remaining option aside from bankruptcy.

    This is a good reminder of why the presidential task force was wise to cut him loose. It would have been impossible to turn the company around with Wagoner in charge; he was that incompetent.

  • avatar

    Red Ink Rick Wagoner made Roger Smith look like Jack Welch.

  • avatar

    I don’t really want to do the work to prove this, but I’m pretty sure you guys reported on this at the time.

    • 0 avatar

      Easy. Type into Google: “ merger ford gm”

      • 0 avatar

        the Bloomberg article is referring to the proposed merger being detailed in the new Bill Vlasic book (who covers autos for NYT) which will be published on October 4. The Bloomberg article is not about the old news – its about the new book – which is about the old news.

      • 0 avatar

        I wondered if this was the cause. I’ve read a review copy of the Vlasic book. Now I only need to find some time to write the review…

        Odd way to market a book, though: get newspapers to print excerpts as news, when they’re not. Not yet awake myself, so I didn’t initially grasp that this was the point of Bertel’s post. So I initially wondered why Bertel was posting something as news that isn’t.

      • 0 avatar

        @Michael Karesh: As the NY Times’ auto beat reporter, I’m pretty sure Vlasic had to get that first excerpt published in Sunday Business. Andrew Ross Sorkin had to do something similar with “Too Big To Fail.”

  • avatar

    I like the fact that Bill Ford and Alan Mulally discussed the deal then turned it down. I’m sure they confirmed GM’s intent to bleed them dry and laughed them right out of the room. “Wait, wait, wait, you want us to do what? BWHAHAHAHAHA! GTFOH General Moron.

    Considering what Daimler-Benz did to Chrysler over the course of a decade, GM and Ford merging would have be disatrous on a scale of epic proportions had it happened.

  • avatar

    This would have been a disaster on the scale of the Studebaker-Packard or the Penn Central Railway mergers. As much as I despise GM because of the bailout (among other things), this scenario would have been even worse.

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming

    Bad idea? That depends upon how you look at it. Think of the possibilities: As a case in point, Ford and Chevy brands could have been merged into one division. Same with the dealer network. One side of a dealer’s sign could say Ford; the other side Chevy. Ditto with their car designs. You want both a Taurus and an Impala in one car? Just look to your left; now to your right!

    But that’s not all. Ford/GM marketeers could have found a Siamese twin to be the new spokesperson(s). Think three stooges shtick, but with only two of them. And the new corporate logo could have been the yin/yang sign. Peaceniks would have loved the metaphor of long-warring Chevy and Ford households coming together to drive in perfect harmony. With both a Coke and a Pepsi.

    If you were a pessimist you might imagine that the combined company would result in the worst qualities of each. That would be understandable. However, this fails to recognize that positive synergies could spill forth after the newlyweds enter the design studio together for the first time.

    Oh, my: Behold the T-Vette.

  • avatar

    Yes is was part of the long forgotten GM death watch series…

    It was not rocket science, at the time GM was burning through just over a billion PER month. And we all knew the cash reserves that GM had… Simple math would tell you when they would run out and declare BK… and when you factor in the 30 billion that W “gave” them in the fall of 2008… several of the Best and Brightest nailed it.

    Of course what this was all about was GM finding ANYONE with some cash in the bank to keep going… just a little longer. These talks were not secret and are not at all a surprise.

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