LaSorda: Chrysler Tried to Hook-Up With Toyota. And Everyone Else.
No, really. The Detroit News reports that prior to its Chapter 11 filing, Chrysler sought to sell off parts of the company to everyone. “Chrysler sent letters to parties, primarily in China, whom we thought would be potentially interested in purchasing our assets,” writes ChryCo’s Tom LaSorda in a bankruptcy filing affidavit. “Over the next two months, several companies, including Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., Tempo International Group, Hawtai Automobiles, and Chery Automotive Co., expressed interest in purchasing specific vehicles, powertrains, intellectual property rights, distribution channels and automotive brands.” But guess what? Not even these ambitious firms were tempted to spend a dime on Chrysler’s alleged assets. And the major OEMs in the global auto game? Chrysler’s efforts to form alliances with Nissan, GM, Volkswagen, Tata Motors, Magna, GAZ, Hyundai, Honda and Toyota “have been determined and undertaken in good faith but have met uniformly without success,” admits LaSorda.
Chrysler approached Toyota last June, suggesting that “Toyota use Chrysler’s excess capacity to build new products or work to develop advanced technology vehicles, such as hybrids.” A month later, Toyota wrote back saying thanks but no thanks. It only took Honda a single day last December to politely decline Chrysler’s offer. Nissan took a little more time to decide against a Chrysler tie-up. Rumors of a Chrysler-Nissan alliance were thick in 2008, as executives met half a dozen times, even exchanging term sheets. “In May, the teams reported that an alliance between Chrysler and Nissan could generate operational synergies on a gross cash basis of more than $11.8 billion in cash flow for Chrysler only ($18 billion for both companies),” says LaSorda. And still no deal emerged, reportedly because Nissan couldn’t commit enough financing resources. Even after those talks fell apart, Chrysler went back to Nissan looking for another deal as its position crumbled further late last year. No deal.
But really, “the hedge funds” are to blame for Chrysler’s bankruptcy. Just ask the Michigan House of Representatives.
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