Ford and GM to merge? Absurd

UPDATE In a clear sign of how squirrelly the water cooler chatter in Detroit has become, the wires and the airwaves were atwitter Monday at the prospect of a mega-merger or alliance between Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp.

Never mind that U.S. antitrust lawyers would be stomping all over any combination of consequence between GM and Ford.

Never mind that the product lines of the two automakers are not complementary. Each is strong where the other is strong (big trucks) and weak where the other is weak (minivans, many cars).

Never mind that GM and Ford already work together on transmissions, safety issues and other things.

None of these never-minds stopped the newswires, or Detroit's radio and TV stations, from breathlessly repeating the sketchy nine-paragraph report in the trade weekly Automotive News. The publication said under the tantalizing headline "The Ultimate Alliance: GM and Ford" that officials of the two firms had talked last month about a possible alliance.

GM and Ford officials on Monday wouldn't characterize the nature of the discussions, except to say the companies talk to each other routinely about various issues. They insisted, as of now, the companies are not holding talks. More at Detroit Free Press

09/18/06 Senior executives at General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. have discussed a merger or alliance, industry newspaper Automotive News reported on Monday.

Citing several sources familiar with the talks, the paper said it is not clear whether the negotiations will bear fruit.

As of now, the two companies are not holding talks, and one source says there is a slim chance that anything will come of the situation, Automotive News said.

GM and Ford were not immediately available for comment.

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