Report: Ford and GM Discussed a Secret Merger in 2008

Industry News

A new book due out this week claims that former GM CEO Rick Wagoner was interested in a merger with Ford back in 2008.

Back in 2008, things weren't looking so good for General Motors. While Ford saw the writing on the wall a few years earlier and placed nearly all of its corporate assets as collateral in order to secure a line of credit, GM was simply unable to undo years of poor management and financial decisions. And now the New York Times is reporting that in 2008, one year prior to filing for bankruptcy, then GM CEO Rick Wagoner secretly proposed a merger with Ford.

After holding talks with Wagoner, Ford Chairman Bill ford and CEO Alan Mulally turned down the offer. Although this is not entirely surprising given the circumstances at the time, it's still interesting that Ford even held talks with GM considering the former had already begun the process of getting their finances in order. Ford and Mulally must have quickly realized that merging with GM would have simply added unnecessary baggage. They had also just nearly completed the process of selling off Aston Martin, Land Rover, and Jaguar (Volvo would soon follow).

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If you're interested in reading more about the whole fiasco and the situation in Detroit, the New York Times sourced the new book 'Once Upon a Car: The Fall and Resurrection of America's Big Three Automakers - G.M., Ford, and Chrysler' by Bill Vlasic. It will be published on October 4th and we're sure it'll be a fascinating read.

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