Blog: Dave LeggettGM out of the Ren-Nis alliance running

Dave Leggett | 5 October 2006

It's not too surprising that GM has dropped out of the study/talks on the possibility of joining the Renault-Nissan alliance. Wagoner was bounced into agreeing to it, by Kerkorian, in the first place. So, reluctantly at best, he assigns a team to look into it. He's a man under pressure. But maybe there will be something in it, he thinks. He has to go along with it, anyway.

Then, the Q2 financial results come in and they look quite startlingly good. It's a boost for GM's management and can be cited as evidence that the turnaround strategy is beginning to yield results. Pressure off.

The noises in Paris last week suggested that the three-way talks had hit snags. GM wanted compensation for the gains that were skewed in the R-N direction.

No-can-do, said Mr Ghosn. That played perfectly into Wagoner's hands. 

Everyone was agreed that Renault and Nissan, especially, was going to be a major short-term gainer if GM joined up. That was not in dispute. So, imagine that: GM cedes some control of its own operations, cuts costs and helps give Renault-Nissan a big leg-up, a wily Frenchman (okay, he's Brazilian, but that, some might say, is a small detail) grinning away like a Cheshire cat in his Parisian counting house. And the benefits flowing in the other direction are years away.

Really, it was nicely set up for Wagoner. Ghosn may have miscalculated by going in too strong and hitching up with Kerkorian in the first place.

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