DETROIT — General Motors is in preliminary talks about a possible merger with Chrysler, a deal that could drastically remake the landscape of the auto industry by reducing the Big Three of Detroit automakers to the Big Two.
The talks between G.M. and Cerberus Capital Management, the private equity firm that owns Chrysler, began more than a month ago, and the negotiations are not certain to produce a deal. Two people close to the process said the chances of a merger were “50-50” as of Friday and would most likely still take weeks to work out.
A merger would be a historic event, with two of the most iconic names in American industry coming together to survive in an increasingly difficult environment. Both have roots dating back decades in Detroit and, with Ford, long dominated the auto industry — until Japanese and other foreign car makers began making inroads into the American market.
The auto industry is being pummeled from all sides — by high gas prices that have soured consumers on profitable S.U.V.’s, by a softening economy that has scared shoppers away from showrooms, and by tight credit that is making it difficult for willing buyers to obtain loans. Both G.M. and Chrysler have been struggling with product lineups that are out of sync with consumer demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient cars.
General Motors’ stock has fallen from more than $43 a share last year to less than $5, and it is burning through its cash hoard at a rapid rate. Chrysler, as a private company, no longer needs to report its finances.
The meetings between General Motors and Cerberus began more than a month ago, said people familiar with the discussions, and the companies have held several talks involving their most senior executives. Given that both G.M. and Chrysler are struggling, the two sides may determine a merger may not be in their best interests.
The exploratory talks have included debates over various calculations of the savings that would result from a merger, these people said, but neither side has yet to dig into each others’ private financial books and records.
At the same time, Cerberus is continuing to hold talks with other automakers including Nissan and Renault, said people familiar with the discussions. It is unclear at what stage those discussions have reached.
Speculation about a possible bankruptcy filing by G.M. has mounted in recent weeks because of the automaker’s dwindling cash reserves. The automaker had $21 billion in cash on hand at the end of the second quarter, but it was burning through more than $1 billion a month.
The credit rating firm Standard & Poor’s put G.M. on negative credit watch on Thursday.
But G.M. has said it is confident that it can increase its liquidity, and emphasized in a statement released Thursday that it was not considering a bankruptcy filing.
G.M. once commanded about 50 percent of the American vehicle market, but its share so far this year has fallen to 22 percent, according to the research firm Autodata. Chrysler had a market share of about 15 percent before its acquisition in 1998 by Daimler, but its share this year has dwindled to 11 percent.
How government and labor might react to a potential merger of G.M. and Chrysler is unclear. Antitrust questions could be raised, but political issues could be overshadowed by the precarious financial prospects of both automakers.
If G.M., the nation’s largest automaker, combined operations with Chrysler, the smallest of Detroit’s Big Three, they would create an auto giant that would surpass Japan’s Toyota Motor Company, which recently has been battling G.M. for bragging rights as the world’s largest automaker.
A G.M. spokesman declined to comment on any specific talks with Chrysler. “Without referencing this specific rumor, as we’ve often said G.M. officials routinely discuss issues of mutual interest with other automakers,” said the spokesman, Tony Cervone.
There was no immediate comment from Cerberus.
People briefed on the deal said the talks started as an exploration of possible joint venture opportunities between G.M. and Chrysler.
Cerberus acquired an 80.1 percent stake in Chrysler in August 2007 for $7.4 billion from the German automaker Daimler AG.
Under the terms of the deal being discussed, Cerberus would end up owning an unspecified equity stake in G.M.-Chrysler, people briefed on the talks said.
The ramifications of the merger would be enormous in the global auto industry. G.M. and Chrysler together would control more than 35 percent of the United States vehicle market, and be by far the dominant producer of pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and minivans.
It would also marry such iconic American brands as G.M.’s Chevrolet and Cadillac with Chrysler’s Jeep and Dodge divisions.
However, the potential merger carries enormous risks. Both G.M. and Chrysler are struggling mightily in what is the worst market for vehicle sales in the United States in 15 years.
People close to the discussions said that if the prospective deal did not happen, Cerberus would probably look to Nissan and Renault.
But the marriage of G.M. and Chrysler has far more potential than hitching Chrysler to a foreign automaker. While G.M. and Chrysler may be hamstrung by labor contracts from cutting jobs, the two companies could combine dealers, product lines and advanced vehicle technology.
They are from a Raven interior 87-88TC in decent shape. They were boxed up and ready to ship about a year or so ago, but I never received payment and they have sat ever since. Just want them out of my apartment one way or another. I would prefer not to toss them.
They do not come with the arm rests. IIRC, they are just the panels and hardware.
Located in Novi, MI 48377 near the M5, 96, 275, 696 interchange.
So after I had to dump the S197 to ensure I could put food on the table for me and my son (long story), I picked up a purple Saturn SC1 beater to get me to and from work. After nearly 5 months of pure torture (I got more looks in that car that I ever did in the Stang) I finally picked up something a little more respectable. It's a 2003 Audi Avant A4 with 3.0 V6 Automatic and Quattro and with 74K on the ticker. Very fun little family hauler. :)
Sorry about the poor pic quality. It's the best my cell can do.
I've seen the car in Walled Lake (drive-by) wanted to stop and check it out but I was in a hurry. The body looks decent from what I could tell, the front bumper is faded and hard to tell from the pic but other than that it looks like a nice ride.
Up for sale is my modified Stinger 3-inch Exhaust. It comes with all the pipes minus the downpipe. The muffler is a Magnaflow 3-inch in/out. It exits on the passenger side with a 3.5-inch tip that was painted black. The paint is coming off in places from rubbing the body, ground, and etc... Would be best to just strip it off.
I had the exhaust welded together, and I will keep that way for local pickup. Otherwise it will need to be cut to ship. I have a pair of 3-inch flanges that I will toss in at no extra charge. There are no hangers included except for what's welded onto the pipes.
Pic of it on my car...
Price: $150 + Shipping
I am located in Novi, MI near Walled Lake. But the exhaust is located a friend's place (cougarman).
Ok. Found this TC for sale in South Lyon, MI today. It's on Pontiac Trail between 10 and 11 Mile I think. Owner wants $1400 o.b.o. With emphasis on best offer. Looks like it is in decent shape. Needs an interior though. From what I could tell it needs a center console and the rear panels at least. It's got 127K on the clock and it is a 2.3T 5-Speed.
Here are some pics from my cell...
I'd pick it up (assuming I had the money), but I just don't have it in me to buy another TC right now.
I thought I saved the number in my phone but I only have a partial. If you interested, PM me and I'll see if I can track down the full number.
Due to some upcoming changes in my life I will be forced to get rid of the S197 and purchase something a little more bank account friendly. Tbird or Cougar it matters not. I don't want the 3.8L V6. That much I do know. I'd rather have a T-5, so I'll be leaning towards a TC or XR-7 or a converted thundercat. I can do the swap... I just don't have the time. Doesn't have to be completely rust free, but I'm not interested in any rust buckets or fixer uppers. Don't really care for red paint either.
Prefer 4-eyes as well but I'm not going to be too picky about that.
I'm looking to spend in the neighborhood of $1000 to $2000 come tax return.
I am willing to travel for the right car. I'm located in the Detroit Metro Area.
I've been browsing a couple of my favorite artistic related websites to see if FoMoCo is just concentrating it's efforts on cafepress (see calendar thread for details) or everyone in general. In the process I ran across a couple artistic renditions of the Mercury Cougar based on the S197 Mustang. Not sure if these are reposts but I figured I would share anyways...
UPDATE (3/28/2010) Calendar is done. It will be released as a 2011 Calendar. I just ordered the first copy to proof. Once I review and make the necessary edits, it will be released for purchase. I did some digging today and found that Ford has released all images taken of their cars under creative commons. So, hopefully cafepress got the memo. I guess we will find out together.
Also the flood gates are open for spots in the 2012, 2013, 2014 and etc... calendars. If I don't get enough pics for coming calendar year, the calendar will be postponed until the following year (or whenever I have enough quality pics). I really need a backlog of pictures. That way, we can keep this thing going. Of course, I am still at the mercy of my publisher at the moment. Hopefully they will get their head out of the sand.
UPDATE!!! (4/24/2009) Well as you all know, the 2009 Calendar did not get completed on time. Mainly due to my laziness and and general lack of motivation from being drained from life (mainly work...). Oh and my computer sucked. Oh and did I mention that I didn't have enough quality pics? But those are just excuses. :p
Now I have a brand spanking new computer (which is begging to be overclocked) to do my work on. My motivation is coming back (amazing what 8hrs of sleep and not working on the weekends can do...) and I almost have all of the pics I need. See below.
Also I bit off more than I can chew with all of the details on these calendar layouts. So for that reason I am splitting things up. The calendars are getting reduced by half to 8.5 x 11 (making them cheaper as well - woo-hoo!). And I am adding a photobook to the lineup. While the calendars will continue to be annual (or bi-annual in this case; lol) the photobook will not. I am thinking about doing one every 4 yrs or so. There is just no way I can include all of my ideas into a book in a year's time. The calendar has taught me that. But that also provides time to replenish the "stock" as anyone that was in the calendar will be in the photobook. Along with a few people that weren't. So keep an eye on your emails please. :)
The photobook will be a collection of finished projects (similar to the calendar, only more in depth... I think... maybe) and a collection of unfinished or works in progress (AKA - Darkthunder) all laid in pleasant book-like manner. It will be damn near epic... Or so I will try.
The 2010 Calendar is almost done. I STILL need two more cougars (or one more cougar and a birdie). I really don't care if you were already in the calendar. Just need different pics.
Here's the list of who's in the calendar.
5.8fastcat Mercury-Man - October Cougar5.0 V8Demon - May Bearmax&Thundergirl88 (counted as one) Gumby Kingcars Hirepro86 Quietleaf Vinnietbird - June
I forget what months you guys requested. I lost the list switching over to the new computer. If you want to post your preferences here that would be greatly appreciated.
Also if you want to be in the calendar get me your pics asap!!! I need these ready by CatJam.
The 2008 Calendar is nearly ready. It didn't go as smoothly as I hoped, but it was smoother than the 2007 Calendar and I want to keep building on that. I also want to try something a little different this year to get a better product and speed up the process for next year.
-First, we are going to accept pictures all year long, starting now. I would like to try and capture the seasons in each month. It is not necessary but I would at least like the option of matching backgrounds with time of year. The resolution requirements will at least be the same as before.
-Second, we are going to try to mix it up a little for the 09 Calendar. I want to keep it fresh. Especially since the calendars aren't cheap... I'm going to explore other options for a publisher as well. But as you all know while the Tbirds and Cougars share the same chassis, stylistically they couldn't be further apart. So there will be one layout for the Cougars and another for the Tbirds with some commonality between them.
-And thirdly, by "we" I mean myself and Karl aka: Cougars 2 go. Karl is going to focus on the Cougars and I will focus on the Birds. You may see some posts from either of us to get your opinions, you may not. We might just keep it all to ourselves. :D
Hopefully this will produce a better calendar that is available sooner.
-------------------------------------------------------------- My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please put "Thundercats 2009 Calendar" somewhere in the subject line.
It's Division III College Football but it's still pretty awesome. With two seconds to go and down by two on their own 39, this team does 15 laterals to get the TD! Talk about a great way to start a monday morning. :)
I thought there was a thread with everyones gamertags in it... I searched and couldn't find it. So I'll just start a new one.
What is your Xbox Live Gamertag?
Right now I only have two games (just got my 360 a couple weeks ago). Halo 3 & Bullet Witch. Plan on returning Halo 3 soon. I have a couple of Arcade games as well: Street Fighter II, Puzzle Fighter HD, and something else I can't remember.
I plan on getting Forza 2, Rainbow Six: Vegas, Gears of War, Soul Calibur 4, Burnout: Paradise and a few others.