Jeep To Renault-Nissan, Belvidere To Magna Steyr, PT Cruiser To China. Maybe

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
jeep to renault nissan belvidere to magna steyr pt cruiser to china maybe

Chrysler has been – some say desperately – seeking to “sell key assets” for a while. The Nikkei (sub) now says that Chryler might be getting close. The usual “unnamed people with knowledge of the discussions” whispered that Chrysler is talking to Nissan-Renault and the Canadian auto supplier Magna. The topics of the discussion are the Jeep brand and Chrysler’s Belvidere plant. The Jeep brand would go to Renault-Nissan, Magna would take the plant.

The parties aren’t strangers.

Chrysler had announced an alliance with Nissan last April.

As for Magna, the interest probably stems from Magna’s subsidiary Magna Steyr, which is creating more and more auto contract manufacture business. Magna Steyr has produced the Chrysler Voyager from 2002 to 2007, and currently produces the Chrysler 300C, the Jeep Commander and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Magna was one of the bidders for Chrysler when it was sold by Daimler in 2007.

According to Reuters, Chrysler has been in talks with Chinese automakers Chery and Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group Co, to sell them the PT Cruiser “brand” and tooling.

Of course, nobody will officially confirm that anything is true. Reuters says that representatives of Chrysler, Cerberus, Magna, and Nissan declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Renault denied talks were under way.

Reuters say there is reason for secrecy and plausible deniability: Renault-Nissan is looking to see whether a deal to acquire Le Jeep would hurt access to U.S. government funding. Good thinking.

[For the uninitiated: an asset sale is when you sell what’s owned by the company without selling the company– and the liabilities that go with it.]

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  • Menno Menno on Jan 14, 2009

    One has to wonder about how Chrysler might survive. Who was it that mentioned that this is karma, due to how Chrysler treated Rootes Group (UK) in the 1960's? Well, I've said exactly the same thing about how Chrysler treated AMC in the 1980's, as well. Karma. Paybacks are truly a biatch. Interesting how Daimler treated Chrysler, ain't it? Modern business is no different than living in a jungle, I'd say. Anyway - does anyone recall what happened the last time Chrysler was against the ropes, in 1980? They sold what remained of Rootes Group, by then called Chrysler UK and Chrysler Europe (which had once proudly been Simca) to Peugeot for one dollar US. Perhaps if Cerberus would be willing to part with Chrysler, I'd be willing to cough up $1 out of my wallet. Maybe. Just for the adventure. And the significant pay-raise I could give myself (from taxpayer money). Wow, that'd make a change. Getting money FROM uncle sugar instead of paying...

  • RedStapler RedStapler on Jan 14, 2009

    Renault-Nissan would be a good fit for Jeep. Nissan already has a piece of the action with their agreement for a badge engineered Ram pickup to replace the Titan. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a diesel JK Wrangler.

  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Jan 14, 2009

    windswords, Reuters' coverage of the Middle East, their use of fauxtography, biased stringers and editorializing in their "news" articles has led me to conclude that they aren't a credible news agency. For the record, Tom Lasorda categorically denied the reports on both the sale of Jeep and the sale of the Belvidere plant. The PT Cruiser part might have some basis because Lasorda did say that Chrysler is looking to sell tooling from previous models. Since the PTC is a dead man walking, it'd probably be one of those models.

    Chrysler Vice Chairman and President Tom LaSorda on Wednesday strongly denied reports and rumors that the company is in discussions to sell its Jeep brand, any manufacturing plants or the tooling for an existing vehicle. “What was reported that we’re in discussions to sell the Jeep brand is absolutely false,” Lasorda told reporters on a conference call Wednesday morning.. “We will not separate the brands from the company.” He said that the company has said for more than a year that it will sell non-earning assets, or assets that “may be coming due.” Chrysler has had discussions about selling the tooling of previous generation vehicles, or vehicles that are discontinued. But reports that the company would sell one of its manufacturing plants are untrue, and don’t make any sense. “If we were to sell any assets, and if you looked at the loan agreement, the loan agreement would not allow us to do that without going through the ‘car czar’,” he added.

  • INeon INeon on Jan 14, 2009

    I heard Patty's Sister is dating Julia's Brother's best-friend's Sister's Ex-Boyfriend!!! OMG OMG OMG They're practically married, and they won't even tell us!!! Oh yeah-- because it's private, and none of our business until we're told. Gossip is not public announcement. Let's pretend we know this. You're damaging Chrysler's credibility to attempt to strengthen your own, and it's getting quite tiresome. You're 'crying wolf' for them, and you've no place.