Wild Ass Rumor of the Day: GM and Renault/Nissan Carving-Up Chrysler
One of our informants within GM tells us that Renault/Nissan (R/N) has entered the negotiations for Chrysler owner Cerberus’ final dispensation of Chrysler. Apparently, “Nobody wants to swallow Chrysler whole.” Although this one comes at us from deep left field, we have heard rumblings that GM wanted to merge Jeep with HUMMER– which we completely discounted at the time. We’re now told that GM and R/N are casting lots for production capacity. Allegedly, only one brand (as a brand) will survive the evisceration. You guessed it: Jeep. So the split would look like this: Jeep/minivans – GM. Trucks/SUV capacity – R/N. Cars? Neither one wants anything to do with them. The unnamed source close to the story familiar with people close to deal says that’s been the hang-up for Cerberus. Interesing…
If there are any Chrysler plants that would be "worth it" to another automaker, it'd be Belvidere, Sterling Heights, and Toluca. They're Chrysler's most modern plants, and at Belviedere and SHAP, the Sebring, Avenger, Caliber, Compass, and Patriot can all be built interchangeably on either line. At Toluca, the PT Cruiser and Journey, two cars that have almost nothing in common, and be built on the same line. http://www.allpar.com/corporate/flexible-manufacturing.html Maybe VW would be interested in flexible North American production like that?
Wasn't HUMMER a development of AM General, the Military Vehicle division of AMC? As in AMC Jeep. Seems like a match made in Heaven, or at least Wisconsin.
Why are we assuming Jeep is so viable? Dealer lots are piling up. Wranglers and GWs do very very good if they can get up to 20mpg on highways, and will probably not make it. Jeep is a one-trick pony, and if their niche is not hot that pony don't trot.
Ronin is correct, Jeep is very much a niche vehicle. Everyone on here agrees that Chrysler watered down the name by slapping it on all sorts of detritus over the years (Compass? Commander? Patriot?), seems logical that it's next iteration (and owner) will take it back to it's low volume niche roots.