Today General Motors confirmed it is shopping around its ACDelco aftermarket parts division. According to GM, the move is just one of many it hopes to do to bolster liquidity.
The interesting twist is that if GM indeed buys Chrysler, they will get the Mopar parts division. Mopar’s high positive name recognition makes the century-old ACDelco operation more expendable.
GM also is desperately looking for anyone to take Hummer, which is less buoyant right now than a cinderblock wrapped in a dirty steel diaper. They’d like to dump Saab, too.
And while GM has not confirmed it, the going rumor is that if the buyout of Chrysler is green-lighted, the Viper brand and production will be sold outright…most likely to Ford. While it is not unheard of for a single model approaching the axe to be sold to a private investor in the interest of carrying it on, such as the Lotus/Caterham Seven and Studebaker Avanti, it is rather unheard of for a single halo model of a large automotive going concern (if you can call Chrysler/Dodge a going concern right now) to be sold to a competitor.
In actuality, the move would make sense. GM has a long history of preventing its many divisions from “competing” against the Corvette. The closest competitors from within GM have come in the forms of the (faster and equally luxurious) ’77 and ’78 T/A 6.6 Trans Ams and the more recent Cadillac XLR and XLR-V. (The Caddies, though, were targeted at the Mercedes SL.) GM has little to gain by keeping the Viper.
On the other hand, with its GT halo gone, Ford could use a new high-end sports car. The market has always resisted putting Mustang in the same group as Corvette and Porsche, so having the Viper would help. Most importantly, since the Viper loses more money than a convention attendee in a Vegas card room, the product fits perfectly in Ford’s backwards business model.