Friday, October 24, 2008

Chrysler and GM in merger talks!?

I for one would not want to see the publicity photos of the 2009 Camaro coming down the same assembly line as the 2009 Challenger. Possibly on the same platform! It’s just too horrid a thought. Perhaps these merger talks are a very bad Halloween joke/nightmare being played on the car world. The thought of a Hemi in a GMC Denali, or any other GM vehicle for that matter, really, really depresses me.

How would this affect us older Mopar lovers? Well, I’ve always been one of those “Glass half full” kind of guys who tries to see the silver lining in things so here’s my take on the up side of this possible merger.

More Licensed Reproduction Parts.

GM has a pretty good program for producing or licensing good quality aftermarket reproduction pieces for their hobbyist’s vehicles.

In the GM camp, there are many aftermarket companies producing GM certified replacement parts at reasonable prices. If, and it’s a big if, GM and Chrysler were to merge, it would make good business sense that the licensing of Mopar Reproduction parts follow the same model as how existing GM parts are certified.

The trouble Dave Layson got into over the summer brought to light that there are some “Gaps” in Chrysler’s Reproduction Parts supply plan. Not to re-hash the “Laysons Incident” and not knowing both sides of the story, but what if Chrysler was charging outrageous fees to license their products? Could this be why Laysons never really pursued licensing the many good quality products they were making? Is it poor execution on Chrysler’s part?

As much as I would to hate to see a merger happen, the outcome for those in the hobby looking for genuine parts could be huge. There would be licensed Mopar Reproduction parts available, hopefully at a reasonable price, for all levels of the hobby and there would be no fear of sub-standard or non-licensed parts bringing down the value of restored vehicles.

The better scenario is Chrysler and GM don't merge and Ma Mopar steps it up in the reproduction parts business.

I know times are tough for businesses large and small and this merger is just that, business. But Ma Mopar being owned by GM just seems wrong. I guess the other good thing that would come out of this possible merger, other than better reproduction parts, would be the small consolation that Chrysler would at least be owned by an American company.

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