The best line Ive heard so far about the merits of the proposed Fiat-Chrysler hookup as opposed to the old Daimler-Chrysler relationship came from Kathleen Ligocki, CEO of GS Motors.
Ligocki summed it up this way: Would you rather be married to a German or an Italian?
Being half German, I didnt like what she seemed to be implying. But thats fodder for another column.
I think the Fiat-Chrysler marriage has merit, though apparently not everybody is impressed with the notion of Fiat taking a 35 percent stake in Chrysler without putting up any cash.
If you can believe the political chatter being reported from Washington, a number of critics from both major political parties are lining up to oppose the deal when Chrysler execs drive back to Washington to explain their survival plan and justify a request for an additional $3 billion loan. (Im assuming theyll drive, but perhaps they should take a Greyhound bus and derail any further congressional browbeating.)
Anyway, the Fiat deal could be a deal breaker in our nations capital.
Another potential snag is that Daimler still wants to sell its 19.9 percent stake in Chrysler. There just doesnt seem to be a long line of prospective buyers.
But I have a solution: Ill buy Daimlers share.
After writing about the auto industry for so many years, it would be swell to be an automaker. And it would let me answer the snarky, self-absorbed, small-minded critics who ask, If youre so smart, why dont you go out and do it instead of just writing about it?
No, Im not rich. Nor am I about to hock everything I own to get a piece of the action. Hey, were talking about Chrysler, not Ford.
I am willing to pay $1.
Remember that some months ago Daimler execs made a big stink about having written down their investment in Chrysler to zero. That means if I pay a buck, Daimler can clear its books of Chrysler once and come out ahead, if only on paper.
Its win-win. Or as my German grandfather would have said, Jeder gewinnt, which means, everyone wins.
Now, if only I can remember where I put my lucky dollar bill