Chrysler: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do



Much like a class full of teenagers at their first school dance, Chrysler and Renault have been eyeing each other across the parquet floor with varying degrees of those two magic words ending in -ust. Since Renault’s sale of AMC to Chrysler back in 1987, they’ve constantly wondered how to get their clutches back into Jeep again, as apparently Jeep was the one brand that got away. Chrysler doesn’t like the idea, but the money might be too good for them to not at least consider loaning Jeep out for a few nights of romantic Franco-Japanese fun.

Meanwhile, Cerberus, like neglectful parents who are conveniently out of town on business, have left the kids at home to fight it out. So when Reuters reported that Chrysler might indeed be breaking up and kicking Jeep to the curb at last, and also reported that Renault-Nissan was first in line to claim a dance, Chrysler LLC Vice Chairman Tom LaSorda said otherwise, in no uncertain terms.

To read more about whether it’s Chrysler or Renault that has the most cooties, follow the jump.

While LaSorda ruled out the idea that Chrysler was seeking to break out individual brand assets to sell off, he didn’t rule out the possibility of Chrysler itself being sold in its entirety. “Those things are all dealt with at the Cerberus level, and at this point in time I just can’t speak to that.” He did, however, add the caveat that “This company is going to be around. We are not going under.”

Chrysler denies the talks have been taking place. Renault spokeswoman Frederique Le Graves denied it as well, and further went on to deny reports by French newspaper Le Figaro that Renault was looking into the possibility of raising 3 billion Euros (that’s $3.99 billion USD) for the acquisition by issuance of convertible bonds. Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is reportedly most interested in acquiring Jeep in order to utilize its existing US plant resources to aid in reintroduction of Renault to North America, alongside interest in whether or not a foreign firm’s purchase of the brand would affect its eligibility for the bailout funds the US government has promised its parent company.

The demise of the American automobile industry has now devolved into passing anonymous notes to news sources and then denying everything. If only they’d listened to Robert Fulghum, maybe they wouldn’t be in this mess.