Anyone got a crystal ball?

Anyone got a crystal ball?

22/10/2008 in

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There's been much speculation in recent days of a pending merger between General Motors and Chrysler.

Just how, or why, would that be a good thing?

Certainly Chrysler is in a mess and Cerberus hadn't seen a banking crisis and economic collapse on its radar when it bought the carmaker from Daimler.

But GM has its own problems. A glance at its product portfolio in the USA hints at some age-old brands which it really ought to kill off. Pontiac, GMC or Hummer anyone?

The trend may be for carmakers to ever-broaden their product portfolios, but with that comes some overlap which surely isn't economically sustainable or understandable when the market goes into freefall.

The last thing GM needs is to add yet more niche products to its extensive global range.

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Chrysler, as part of the Fiat Group, has had a reducing presence in the UK. Its Lancia-based supermini, the Ypsilon, and its Delta lower-medium hatchback haven’t really made an impression, despite offering competitive fuel consumption and CO2 emissions and a high quality interior.

The Grand Voyager people carrier looks expensive and uncompetitive on CO2 emissions, while the 300C saloon has moved upmarket on price, but it still lacks the badge appeal of premium rivals in the executive car sector.

The Chrysler brand, while it still has a presence in the UK, has fewer new products in the immediate future and its long-time partner brand Jeep is being paired up with Alfa Romeo in many franchises.

Chrysler sales and market share have been falling since 2012, so a major strategy and product revamp is needed before things will improve.

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