Rumors of a three-way alliance between General Motors, Renault and Nissan are flying around, and a high-level team at GM is apparently studying the possibility, but analysts are skeptical that the plan would work. The plan calls for Nissan and Renault to invest as much as $3 billion in GM jointly. In exchange, each company would receive a 10% share in the company. The impetus for the move comes from Kirk Kerkorian, the billionaire investor who has been buying up GM stock for years, and now owns 9.9%. He is bringing his plan to GM’s board on Friday, while the boards of the other two companies have already agreed to enter into talks with GM.
One of the main draws of the plan would be the involvement of Nissan and Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn with GM. Ghosn turned Nissan from a struggling, nearly bankrupt company into a profitable success in just three years, and many hope that he could do the same with GM. Analysts in both Japan and France seem doubtful that Ghosn could do the same thing with GM, which has many problems beyond just their cars, like crippling labour agreements. The French government, which owns 15% of Renault, urges caution before tying their fate to a company that lost $10.6 billion last year. Many GM executives are also apparently doubting the wisdom of Kerkorian’s plan, after deals with Fiat and several Japanese makers have soured for the company.