Kirk Kerkorian caused a Wall Street stir on Friday night by suggesting General Motors should form an alliance with Renault-Nissan.

The
idea sounds far-fetched – except that Kerkorian owns nearly 10 per cent
of GM and Wall Street boosted the GM share price by a similar
percentage on the strength of it. And the Renault-Nissan camp didn’t
laugh about it, as Marketwatch reported:

Nissan welcomed the
move, confirming that Kerkorian and his advisers already had broached
the idea with Renault-Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn, who made a
name for himself by reversing the flagging fortunes of Nissan and,
before that, tiremaker Michelin.

“The Renault-Nissan Alliance
is an open partnership, which has never been restricted to two
partners,” the company said in a statement. “At this point, it is
necessary that GM’s board and top management fully support this project
to start the study of this opportunity after agreement of the Renault
and Nissan boards.”

GM’s board issued a statement saying it
had no proposal or offer from Renault-Nissan, but Kerkorian’s
suggestion would be “taken under advisement”, whatever that might
actually mean.

GM lost US$10.6 billion in its latest year and
the red ink is still flowing with little in the way of answers coming
from the present management.

Which does lead to interesting
possibilities for the petrol heads who crowd Bathurst each year: How
could they handle a Nissan Holden?

Peter Fray

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