Is GM Buying Chrysler ???

Hold on to your hats, folks...

Automotive News is reporting that DaimlerChrysler may be negotiating with General Motors for GM to acquire Chrysler. That's a reversal of what DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche said just last fall. Is DaimlerChrysler that desperate to shed the Chrysler product line? Apparently so.

Last fall DaimlerChrysler's Chief Financial Officer had said that he wouldn't rule out a sale of the Chrysler "arm" of DaimlerChrysler, only to have the corporation itself issue a press release the next day saying Chrysler wasn't for sale. Well, maybe it is after all.

CEO Dieter Zetsche's statement resurrects the speculation from last fall, which followed on the heels of Chrysler group's dismal third-quarter results, which included a $1.48 billion loss. Perhaps someone in Germany finally looked at the numbers and said "we're bleeding all over the floor here folks" and maybe someone finally believed it1

When pushed for comment, Zetsche would refused to comment on Germany's Manager Magazin report that DaimlerChrysler was negotiating to sell Chrysler to General Motors. Manager Magazin didn't name its sources but said the talks were "in full swing."

Zetsche's reaction? "I cannot and will not go into any further details." Meanwhile a General Motors isn't talking. Typically, when two big companies are talking about one buying the other, the response that both give is very often not to say anything at all.

The "gotta sell" mentality probably wasn't helped by today's posting of a $7.28 billion operating profit by DaimlerChrysler for 2006 after the Chrysler group posted its own loss of $1.47 billion.

As Everett Dirkson said once, "A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you're talking about real money."

Who knows what all this will mean for American consumers...we'll have to wait for the dust to settle.