Detroit News Shills for Morgan Stanley

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

When it comes to creating reporting wild ass merger rumors, The Detroit News says game on! The latest chorus of "Daimler and blank, sitting in a tree" would have the artist formerly known as DaimlerChrysler selling 20 percent of itself to… BMW. Sussex scribe Neil Winton dutifully, perhaps even exhaustively lays out the rationale. "Audi is owned by German mass car maker Volkswagen, and Lexus by Japan's gigantic Toyota. This means that the cost of many basic components like engines, transmissions and components, which are used under the skin of ordinary as well as exotic machines, can be spread over huge numbers of vehicles allowing the interlopers what could be a killer long-term cost advantage." It's a simple if bogus premise: Mercedes and BMW could share parts and platforms to compete against Audi and Lexus. (Strangely for the home town paper, no mention of Cadillac.) It's also not Winton's idea. The entire story is based on a report written by Adam Jonas of Morgan Stanley. To be fair (why not?), Winton unearths a coherent naysayer in the form of Professor Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, managing director of B&D Forecast. "The only thing that makes sense is that Morgan Stanley as investment bankers is going to make strong profits if they can sell someone a merger." Which makes the whole thing a bit of a non-story, don't you think?

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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