Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hyunday And Chrysler? Not A Seoul In Sight

Preface: This article assumes that the dear reader is at least vaguely familiar with the on-again, off-again dalliance between Chrysler and General Motors, and the grim backdrop to this foreplay. Who isn’t these days?
Halt, off course, it’s pure coincidence: Whenever ChryCo’s consensual sex with GM is a wee of in doubt, out of the bodywork come other supposed suitors. And then there is that very disturbing sub-story. But before we get to that:

Last time GM had second thoughts about the not so pretty bride called Chrysler, a prospective suitor was leaked: Nissan, in a Grand Alliance with Renault. Then, suddenly, the threesome with the attractive Eurasian mixed couple was not consumed, “after Cerberus acknowledged preference for GM,” as the joint Detroit PR Department The Detroit News had it. The hellhounds at Cerberus focused again on an arraigned marriage with the (soon to be demoted to corporal) General. Then last Friday, again announced via the strike-through PR Department, GM said no to wedding bells with Chrysler. Guess the sound of GM’s own death knell was too overpowering for any nuptials.

Sure enough, while America slept, a new rumor hit the wires. As sweat-covered America was tossing and turning through a restless night, Reuters reported that Korean Hyundai is in talks with Chrysler LLC owner Cerberus Capital Management. According to people who claimed carnal knowledge of the discussions, Hyundai made advances to take the Jeep brand off ChryCo’s hands, along with “possibly other assets” of unknown provenience.

The sun rose over Seoul last Saturday morning, and outraged Hyundai spokespersons gave Reuters an earful, loudly denying any fling with the battered U.S. auto loss maker.
"We have no interest in whatsoever in acquiring Chrysler, including Jeep and have not engaged in any discussions with Cerberus on this matter," Hyundai Motor spokesman Jake Jang barked. Basically, Hyundai has other things to do than worry about Chrysler. "Our hands are full now." Jang groveled and hung up. Guess that means a no.
Here, the aforepromised sub-story: Why is it that always when GM says “not tonight, sweetie-pie, I’ve got a horrible headache,” foreign suitors are trotted out? And is it pure coincidence that it’s always suitors from lands that cause the synapses of the average American Joe to rapid-fire the association WAR? I mean, Japan, Korea, France (they were there twice to save the ungrateful frogs from getting eaten.) What’s next? A marriage of ChryCo with Germans? Ah, we nearly forgot: That has been tried before. Vietnamese car maker Mekong expresses interest? Iran Khodro Company gets into Dodge? The possibilities are endless.
(Picture courtesy U.S. Army. Looks like Hyundai doesn't want Jeeps back in Korea.)