By Patrick Rall
The recent, constant merger/buyout talk has a great many
Dodge enthusiasts aggravated, and while there is hope that our beloved Dodge
will pull through this unscathed, analysts talk as though there is no way
around some sort of takeover.
The highly paid market analysts at Cerberus have just
recently discovered that the automotive market is slumping, and they want out.
General Motors is looking to acquire any assets that it can, and Nissan/Renault
are looking for an American operations branch.
What does this mean for the Dodge faithful?
Based on what has been said by both automotive and general
media sources, the Nissan merger may be the best bet for Dodge, as Nissan is
interested in having an American branch to its growing corporation. Keep in mind, Dodge has already worked out a
deal to build the next generation of Nissan quarter ton trucks, and Nissan is
reportedly working on a subcompact for Dodge.
There has always been rumors that Nissan is one of the interested
parties, along with Roush and Saleen, to buy control of the Dodge Viper. In
short, Nissan is already doing business with Chrysler Corporation and it would
trim their costs to have a controlling interest in the company, along with the
assets of the company.
However, the angle of GM buying Chrysler is very, very
different. General Motors is struggling
as much as anyone else, having recently come out of buyout talks themselves,
and they are grasping at anything to keep them above water while sales are so
low. A buyout of Chrysler, a company who
offers so many vehicles in direct competition with GMs layout of underachieving
trucks, bland build-for-rental cars, and of course the Corvette and Camaro,
would allow GM to increase their strength in certain markets by simply ending
production of their biggest competitors.
It has been rumored that the only models that they are interested in
producing are the trucks and SUVs (including Jeep), and they may help the sales
of models like the G8, Camaro, and Corvette by bring a swift death to the
Charger, Challenger, and Viper. Along
with the sickening end to these legendary Dodges, this may account for a
tremendous amount of job loss as the need for dealerships and factories drops
So, we face the invasion of a “foreign company” into the
front office at Dodge, or possible extinction at the hands of the weakening
General Motors. The way that I see it,
having the future option to go out and buy a Nissan-owned but Dodge badged
Challenger far outweighs the option of being forced to buy a GM owned and built
Ram, and not being able to buy a Charger or Challenger, and considering the
state of GM, how long can we really expect them to be around at this rate?