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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So we've had a lot of discussion lately about auto alliances, mergers, etc. It has me thinking about which companies would benefit most, or could benefit most, by becoming part of a greater auto group (VW AG, Daimler AG, Fiat-Chrysler).

This is expected to be a harsh reality for companies with midsize automobile operations like Suzuki or Mitsubishi, but also smaller companies like Lotus (who is now owned by Proton).

Post your ideas below!

Here are some of my thoughts:

Suzuki-Isuzu (merger)
Suzuki and Isuzu both have built rugged utility vehicles, so there's some common ground demographically. But today Isuzu mostly focuses on those utility vehicles and some commercial operations while Suzuki's passenger cars and motorcycles bring something different to the table. Isuzu could focus resources on SUVs and trucks (and commercial vehicles) while Suzuki re-allocates most all funds to cars and bikes. Isuzu's SUVs and trucks can be sold as Suzukis (depending on the market, at least) while Isuzu could eventually start selling Suzuki-designed cars again. Either that, or we could instead have a JLR situation on our hands - dealerships sell Suzuki cars and Isuzu SUVs/trucks. Both need the resources to develop competitive vehicles an cannot do it on their own. Unfortunately, neither has a US dealer network anymore.

Honda-PSA (merger)
Honda and PSA are already large companies with plenty of history. They're the seventh and eighth largest manufacturers, respectively, in the industry by 2013 production. Each has their successes, yet also their weak points. PSA's main operations would be the domestic European market, but Europe is flat and there exists no US operations. Honda, by comparison, is very strong in the US and in markets of Asia, but also has downsides. China is a gigantic market and although Honda does well enough, geopolitical tensions could limit Honda's potential in China; they may also have limited growth in Korea. PSA can be PSA-Honda's path to greater success in such markets; PSA's European presence takes advantage of Honda's comparative weakness in Europe. Furthermore, neither has a serious premium brand. Acura exists in few markets and its success has been limited to date. DS is announced as PSA's hopeful new global luxury brand, but Honda's resources along with PSA's to fasttrack development would be of great benefit in a world where FCA is expanding Alfa Romeo, Tata is growing Jaguar, and Cadillac continues their aspirations. DS can be PSA-Honda's global luxury brand, including in NA. as for Acura, the global role would change little from today but would give DS a network in NA.

Mazda (acquired by Fiat-Chrysler Automobile)
Mazda has a dynamic lineup, but as the brand looks forward their limits are clear. They cannot afford the wide range of products globally that can Toyota, Ford, or Hyundai. Their main strength is in the Asian markets. Coincidentally, FCA is not as successful in Asia by elsewhere has potential between Fiat, Jeep and Chrysler brands. So Mazda becoming part of FCA allows everyone to win. This bigger, stronger FCA would finally have Asia in their pocket as well. Mazda's benefit is the access to technology that previously would have been expensively developed in-house.

Mitsubishi-Renault-Samsung (merger)
Mitsubishi needs a fresh lineup, and quickly. They have an increasing relationship with RSM, owned by Renault (whose with Nissan these days). Rebadging and co-developing cars going forward gives Mitsubishi what they need and gives Renault-Nissan more of the Japanese market share with Mitsubishi being a part of Renault-Nissan.

General Motors-Ford (merger)
Just kidding. :fall:
 

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this could get interesting but for me
isuzu-suzuki NOT well suited as there still is a BIG hole in the middle of there line up and lots of duplication

I would like to see GM grab Isuzu for both the Light commercials/ COE trucks and as a "foot hold" in smaller cars for ASIA / BRIC

FCA/Mazda sounds good and well "matched"

Fiat goes even more lifestyle and Mazda takes on MORE of the "commuter car" class

Honda- PSA I do not "see it" as I would imagine the duplicity would be VERY high
I would imagine closer ties to BMW would be "better" for Honda as both have little overlap but come close to each other
 

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So we've had a lot of discussion lately about auto alliances, mergers, etc. It has me thinking about which companies would benefit most, or could benefit most, by becoming part of a greater auto group (VW AG, Daimler AG, Fiat-Chrysler).
This is expected to be a harsh reality for companies with midsize automobile operations like Suzuki or Mitsubishi, but also smaller companies like Lotus (who is now owned by Proton).
Mergers between 2 disparate companies and work ethic have little chance of success (i.e. Daimler-Chrysler). You need to find synergies and both sides need to be able to work with the other.

Suzuki-Isuzu (merger)
I don't see synergies here, as they're essentially the same company competing in the same space.

The only real fit I see, is a reacquisition of these 2 by GM. GM needs global light trucks and utility vehicles. That's a hole that exists still at GM.

Honda-PSA (merger)
I don't see synergies here. Honda is a very independent company and results and numbers driven. PSA is a mess. Honda is broad enough and they don't need to taint their own reputation with the PSA crap. Honda doesn't need a footprint in Europe, as they already have one. And the French are notorious to work with, especially with their labor laws.

A better fit would be a merger with BMW Group. BMW can leverage Honda's engine tech for Mini. And Acura can leverage BMW tech. They're both very independent company and can feed off each other's strengths. But not sure if the boards would be compatible or even if it could work.

Mazda (acquired by Fiat-Chrysler Automobile)
Maybe. But Fiat-Chrysler has their own problems. Undergoing an acquisition is not in the cards right now.

Mitsubishi-Renault-Samsung (merger)
No. Merging a bunch of weak car companies here only serves to complicate the scenario, and it's not immediately clear if there would deb any benefits.
If anything, Renault-Nissan is a prime acquisition target from Daimler.
 

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Not an expert on this as there are so many business and cultural components to successful mergers. But, as a car nut, I'd be curious to see what a Mercedes/Honda merger would look like. At their best, both have been very engineering-driven companies willing to go their own way. Both put a focus on efficiency and reliability and yet both have moments where they add a dash of emotionalism (NSX, Gullwing) where they make all around masterpieces. With Honda holding down the affordable and small part of the market, Mercedes could focus on premium cars; both would benefit from greater purchasing power.

Mazda would fit well with FCA. But, they'd also slot well with BMW as a volume, fun-to-drive brand. Mazda and Mini would share FWD platforms and Mazda could tap into some of BMW's RWD portfolio for low volume performance cars. Again, complementary markets, increased purchasing power and it would allow BMW to focus on premium cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I don't see synergies here, as they're essentially the same company competing in the same space.

The only real fit I see, is a reacquisition of these 2 by GM. GM needs global light trucks and utility vehicles. That's a hole that exists still at GM.
Both appears to be focusing on different aspects of similar markets. Isuzu doesn't sell cars anymore, for example. Suzuki does. Isuzu doesn't have the resources right now to actually develop a line of cars, and so it's not terribly different than the situation that allowed Land Rover to continue building SUVs while Jaguar focuses on cars. Neither is in the position to do both.

I don't see synergies here. Honda is a very independent company and results and numbers driven. PSA is a mess. Honda is broad enough and they don't need to taint their own reputation with the PSA crap. Honda doesn't need a footprint in Europe, as they already have one. And the French are notorious to work with, especially with their labor laws.

A better fit would be a merger with BMW Group. BMW can leverage Honda's engine tech for Mini. And Acura can leverage BMW tech. They're both very independent company and can feed off each other's strengths. But not sure if the boards would be compatible or even if it could work.
Honda will never be as big in Europe as PSA even is now, despite their issues, and certainly not with the same breadth. Europe is still very profitable despite its stagnation. And DS would easier to take global than Acura would. Renault-Nissan haven't fallen apart yet, so while I'm not saying it's a non-issue, it's not something that cannot be overcome.

BMW already has excellent small engine technology. Not saying the two couldn't work together to make something even better though.

Maybe. But Fiat-Chrysler has their own problems. Undergoing an acquisition is not in the cards right now.
Talks with Mazda are like a "phase three" at this point. Phase one was actually getting Fiat and Chrysler together with massive investment/improvement at Chrysler Group brands. Phase Two is just starting about now with massive expansion for the Fiat Group end of things, especially Alfa Romeo and Maserati with the near-discontinuation of Lancia. Phase three (which shouldn't be that far off) needs to be a plan for Asia, where no FCA brand is particularly strong or likely to be any time soon. Mazda could be that solution. I believe Mazda is strong throughout much of Asia.

No. Merging a bunch of weak car companies here only serves to complicate the scenario, and it's not immediately clear if there would deb any benefits.
If anything, Renault-Nissan is a prime acquisition target from Daimler.
It's two companies. Renault-Samsung is one company that's just comprised of rebadged Renaults for the Korean market. But Mitsubishi and RSM already are slated to expand their partnership with more rebadged RSMs for Mitsubishi anyway. RSM won't be going very global since Renault-Nissan does that already, so they're basically for the Korean market. But Mitsubishi has no place in the current Korean market anyway, but needs greater product in other markets like Japan and NA. It's not entirely removed from a large scale example of Opel-Vauxhall, just with more input by Mitsubishi over time.
 

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This is an interesting thread topic.

I believe the the traditional mainstream/luxury model doesn't work and isn't sustainable. You can't be really good at both because true luxury requires so much special attention. Same with mainstream. However, the mainstream/premium works just fine because premium doesn't require special platforms, special production facilities, special powertrains, etc. You can't achieve better economies of scale with the mainstream/luxury model. We really need LVMHs of the auto world.

I have no clue who should merge with who in the mainstream world or if there really needs to be any major mergers to begin with. You're just creating massive, unmanageable, and too-big-to-fail organizations when you go too far, IMO. There ARE downsides to this.
 

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I don't like any of your suggestions..............

I did like the Daimler/Chrysler dealio, if only they truly had a long-term interest, sad.............

And even though Chrysler got pilfered, in some aspects it did legitimize the company.
 

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what about TESLA?

I not very interested in any of the brands you listed
 

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Isuzu-Suzuki? Isuzu's only "real" products are the D-Max pickup and its Mu-X SUV derivative, both of which share bodywork with GM's Colorado/Trailblazer but could reasonably complement Suzuki's small-car lineup.

Mazda and FCA? Interesting.

Mitsubishi just needs to go away. It has two or three semi-interesting products launching in the next two years, but that won't begin to save the company's battered reputation. Selling Renault-Samsungs might work in America, but they'll be cynical rebadges in markets where the Renault versions will be sold, which will basically be everywhere on Earth except North America. The tie-up with PSA seemed promising, but nothing's come from it except a trio of mediocre compact crossovers. It's time to shut off the lights and sit shiva...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
what about TESLA?

I not very interested in any of the brands you listed
:) I encourage people to propose their own ideas, so feel free! I'm not claiming I'm an expert. I just see areas that seem potentially able to converge, if the parties involved were committed to it anyway. Daimler-Chrysler was not one of those examples.

Tesla is a brand I considered. They're extremely independent in thought and unorthodox in numerous ways, so any large company that would acquire them is likely to have to allow them to operate in such ways. I believe Daimler has a stake in Tesla, but I'm not sure what they're long term goal with Tesla is. Perhaps at this point it's just "wait and see"?

Isuzu-Suzuki? Isuzu's only "real" products are the D-Max pickup and its Mu-X SUV derivative, both of which share bodywork with GM's Colorado/Trailblazer but could reasonably complement Suzuki's small-car lineup.

Mazda and FCA? Interesting.

Mitsubishi just needs to go away. It has two or three semi-interesting products launching in the next two years, but that won't begin to save the company's battered reputation. Selling Renault-Samsungs might work in America, but they'll be cynical rebadges in markets where the Renault versions will be sold, which will basically be everywhere on Earth except North America. The tie-up with PSA seemed promising, but nothing's come from it except a trio of mediocre compact crossovers. It's time to shut off the lights and sit shiva...
The compelling thing about Isuzu and Suzuki is despite their similarities their current lineups don't actually overlap very much, part of what helps Jeep complement Chrysler or my aforementioned JLR example.

You and I both, regarding Mitsubishi. Cliche though it may be, I do view competition as generally good and so I've tried to find ways to keep them going. It's definitely the trickiest of the lot, though. They don't bring much to the table for any brand right now, except their Asian presence really. Even then, other brands are much more capable at present than Mitsubishi - even Mazda (by leaps and bounds). And it's basically what Mitsubishi is planning with the Renault alliance, if such news to accurate; Car and Driver reported some time ago that the Renault-Samsung SM5 would be rebadged as the latest Galant. But unless Mitsubishi is fine with rebadging French cars for the rest of their existence, they'll need to contribute. I'm guessing the idea is Mitsubishi's electric vehicle endeavors (pun mostly unintended). Nissan already has invested heavily in that, so my guess is EVs are Mitsubishi's last effort. If it doesn't work, they'll probably just disband their motor vehicle operations.

A Mitsubishi-badged Citroen C5 is something I can support! Likelihood = not so good.
 

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Mitsubishi-Renault-Samsung (merger)
Mitsubishi needs a fresh lineup, and quickly. They have an increasing relationship with RSM, owned by Renault (whose with Nissan these days). Rebadging and co-developing cars going forward gives Mitsubishi what they need and gives Renault-Nissan more of the Japanese market share with Mitsubishi being a part of Renault-Nissan.
Am I the only person who thinks of American Motors when they read this idea? You take a bunch of small, weak car companies and merge them into one large, weak car company that eventually bleeds itself to death. Now don't get me wrong, I liked AMC, but the lack of resources and a coherent plan killed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Am I the only person who thinks of American Motors when they read this idea? You take a bunch of small, weak car companies and merge them into one large, weak car company that eventually bleeds itself to death. Now don't get me wrong, I liked AMC, but the lack of resources and a coherent plan killed it.
Again, Renault-Samsung is one company. All it is, is a Korean market Renault brand. Samsung just has a hand in some operations and r&d.
 

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2b2 said:
what about TESLA?...
:) I encourage people to propose their own ideas, so feel free! I'm not claiming I'm an expert. I just see areas that seem potentially able to converge, if the parties involved were committed to it anyway. Daimler-Chrysler was not one of those examples.

Tesla is a brand I considered. They're extremely independent in thought and unorthodox in numerous ways, so any large company that would acquire them is likely to have to allow them to operate in such ways. I believe Daimler has a stake in Tesla, but I'm not sure what they're long term goal with Tesla is. Perhaps at this point it's just "wait and see"?
cool

I have too many other things happening to give this topic the thought it deserves but
don't see a large corp. being able to get-along with Tesla either
so perhaps
Tesla-Mazda-___?
I'm thinking that pure electrics aren't quite ready for primetime and there'd be a major benefit to having established petrol engines (and the technology of designing with them) to create range-extended PLUG-INS (which imho are the current sweet tech-spot).
Plus afaik, Mazda doesn't have an assemblyplant in Norte America anymore / and could use one to increase sales (whether they want to or Not-I can't tell) / and afaik Tesla could make-or-get room for them in the former GM-Thugota plant they're using.
And
maybe Elon alone would bring so much hype that funding would just flow in so bigcorp-deeppockets wouldn't be needed?...

...I'd like to add a small Luxury mfg (or coachbuilder-type - are there any?) to provide the "lustre" that neither have - maybe even going to extremely limited, near custom vehicles to seriously DENT RollsRoyce
, or at least their Ego, tho not their price-bracket - like just "occupy" $100-200k before Cadillac gets there
 

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Google "mobile / autonomous drive solutions" division and Yamaha. Both are relative newcomers to the car industry. Yamaha is already great in engineering, engine building and motorcycles. It is contemplating production of the Gordon Murray designed Motiv city car. This two-seater is supposed to outsmart the Smart ForTwo. It would have saved Google the trouble of engineering its own two-seat robo car. From that point on, it is "good car business is where you find it".

 

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Perhaps.... there are more attractive alternatives in the joint venture space.

If you accept things they way they are , then the main issue going forward is ( really ) two pronged; increased R & D costs driven by regulation while real buying power ( and related other ) in many developed markets is declining. ( Plus the capacity issues. )

So sharing all that you can - from anything related to PTs and or platforms - including production could stave it all off ...... for awhile.


This kind of thing could also be a nice segway to a merge...... later.

Or even a sort of trail as well.


With something like this, BMW + Honda might be ( really ) interesting although Honda's Corporate culture and or spirit as always, looms large and then BMW already has the various flex agreements with Toyota.
 

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I don't see synergies here. Honda is a very independent company and results and numbers driven. PSA is a mess. Honda is broad enough and they don't need to taint their own reputation with the PSA crap. Honda doesn't need a footprint in Europe, as they already have one. And the French are notorious to work with, especially with their labor laws.
Several years ago, my Mgmt Prof, who was an expert in Auto Manufacturing/Production said "The French do Wine and Fashion really well. Don't ever buy a French Car." :)
 
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