They called it a merger of equals, but now the Chrysler group has decided that trumpeting a little German influence wouldn't be so bad for the brand. The new TV commercials boasting about German engineering probably will play very well everywhere but Detroit.
And now the financial world is thinking about an affiliation of General Motors, Nissan and Renault. It probably will play very well, except in Detroit.
Obviously, GM needs help. Its U.S. market share has dropped from about half to the low 20 percent range. GM has no silver bullets in the works that will lift the share any higher.
Meanwhile, GM and Ford Motor Co. have been decimated as competitors have been picking off their customers, dealers and executives.
In a perfect world, an alliance with other automakers isn't the solution. In a perfect world, GM introduces one hot car after another and watches as its market share rises. That's not going to happen.
Don't dismiss the idea of a "global motors" quite so fast. Others have thought about it before. DaimlerChrysler tried it by starting to add Mitsubishi to its portfolio. DaimlerChrysler tried and couldn't make it work, so it retreated. With a stronger Japanese player, it might have been a better idea.
Maybe GM needs the help of some international companies that are doing quite well with a global strategy. And don't dismiss Renault and Nissan with the simplistic explanation that they are having some troubles today. This is a game that forces you to look two decades out. A lack of foresight was GM's problem in the first place.
I have no idea what a GM-Renault-Nissan alliance would create. But it is in the best interest of everyone for GM's board to study it and study it hard. Then the board has to meet with Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn and hear the rest of the story.
This opportunity may or may not make sense, but an independent board has an obligation to investigate all the options and not reject the proposal immediately.
It is time for the directors of all three companies to figure out whether this would work for their shareholders, employees, dealers and customers.
An opportunity like this comes along but once in a lifetime. GM's independent directors must explore the potential.