While I have taken some time off, getting back to fighting trim, I have been fascinated by the chaos that seems to be surrounding the automobile industry these days.
Trying to figure out the good guys and the bad guys at Nissan, after the long and painful incarceration of Carlos Ghosn, we still have to look forward to an even longer trial in the most nasty environment.
But even before all the confusion about Nissan has been even understood, along comes Fiat Chrysler, proposing a new merger. But a marriage with Nissan's longtime partner Renault would not necessarily be made in heaven—or here on earth. The offer was withdrawn, but the idea defended, so it could come back around.
And if that is not stirring the pot enough these days, then we should not forget what is going on with NAFTA, particularly in Mexico where the pot seems to continue to boil too close to the point of overflowing.
If you happen to have anything to do with imports or exports or are trying to figure out all this information about tariffs and cars, then there is a very good chance that your head is swimming.
What makes it even more confusing is that you will be able to find a lot of Democrats lined up with a bunch of Republicans—and for this particular scrimmage they seem to all be on the same side, at least for a short time.
The briefly proposed merger had the French, the Italians and the Americans all taking everything in with a very high degree of interest and trying to figure out whether it would suit their interests.
One of the reasons their interests couldn't align was that Nissan didn't seem to like the new role that might have been assigned to them in a new and improved alliance. The trouble is that there are so many players, it wasn't clear what role Nissan would have liked to play.
I am not sure anyone has seen such a confused situation dealing with all these very different personalities. If that is not enough to confuse the players, then getting the U.S. government involved can only add to the confusion.
Before we hope to sort out all the players, I am not sure that anyone knows all the answers.
It is going to take quite a while before the players can come up with a solution that will satisfy most, if not all, of them. And there is still one huge obstacle to overcome, and that is the thousands of automobile dealers in the U.S. and around the world that will be at the mercy of these companies that must decide for everyone else.
With tariffs as well as any potential merger, it will be interesting to see how they all deal with these new challenges.
Sergio is gone as is Carlos, so it will be all new players.
We wish them all well.