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In June we brought you news about Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG to work on a relationship – possibly co-developed products targeted at the commercial sector. At the time, both companies issued a Memorandum of Understanding on possible product alliances.

With the Blue Oval in the dumpster, Jim Hackett, who is constantly chattering about "fitness," and VW's desire to increase its market share in America, it would not be the strangest marriage when these two companies spur their energies into more than just the commercial one Market.

Strange things have happened … like DaimlerChrysler. Wait, that's probably a bad example.

Sure, a mashup of the world's largest and fifth-largest automakers would create a juggernaut unlike anything the world has ever seen.

It does more than just make sense. Ford jumps out of the car game, a segment where VW is flush with product. Volkswagen cabinets are pretty empty when it comes to pickups and other gonzo-sized (and gonzo-profit) machines, but the glass house is packed with things. Between them they would have covered all the segments like syrup on waffles.

Over at the Detroit Free PressTalking heads make some good arguments.

"Something big is brewing," said John McElroy, Autoline.tv host and longtime industry analyst. "Look, if not, Jim Hackett can not survive, he has to throw a bomb at industry."

He points out that the average consumer – not gear like those who read and write for this site – do not know and in fact do not care what's under the hood of their ride. Do you really think South Street would be worried about Sally if that was a Ford-developed or VW-designed transmission in their crossover, as long as it works?

To further streamline this merger on paper, look to China. VW or a VW affiliated company is responsible for almost every sixth car sold in this country. Even with the uncertainties of a decline in sales, China is hardly a market that can be ignored. Here in the States Ford should make nearly 40 percent of the purchased full-size pickups. Both companies would like to get their proverbial lug nuts for each of these numbers.

Of course, any talk of a merger of two big automakers reminds of the beast of DaimlerChrysler. What at that time looked like a good idea quickly gave way to massive internal cultural conflicts and the feeling that YesThe Germans had the place, not the Americans.

Your author remembers reading stories from insiders at the time. Bud Liebler recalled a top-notch leader from Germany staring up at the top floor of Chrysler Headquarters in Auburn Hills, looking at the Pentastar-shaped window and saying, "That's got to go." He was quickly informed that there was nowhere to go, you know, structurally uplifting the building. Another big rumor is that Schrempp had allegedly turned off the sprinklers in his office so he could smoke cigars that flew in the face of Chrysler's non-smoking policy. A fascinating read about the cultural conflicts, with stories from the same environment as Liebler and Bob Lutz, can be found here,

If the participants of a mega-camera do not share values, big problems can raise their ugly head. If work styles and assumptions are very different from the first steps, it is monumentally difficult to align them with the fact that humans are people and often do not like change.

Replacing vehicle platforms and powertrains is the key to saving large amounts of money and achieving efficiency in today's environment. The late Sergio Marchionne has referred to this point many times – to the point where he apparently merged into outfits like General Motors. The man was right, but nobody was ready to be FCA's dance partner.

It was two decades ago when Chrysler and Daimler made a "Merger of Equals" this year that turned out to be anything but good. Would it be different for Ford and VW?

A version of this article first appeared thetruthaboutcars.com

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SOURCES: CARSCOOPS BMWBLOG MOTORAUTHORITY
CLASSICCARS MOTOR1 JALOPNIK FOURTITUDE INSIDEEVS
DUPONTREGISTRY AUTONEWS OLDCARSWEEKLY
INDIANAUTOSBLOG CARCOMPLAINTS LUXUO AUTOPARTSWAREHOUSE
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