11/30/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

GM/Chrysler merger: 200,000 unemployed, most Chrysler vehicles gone

Yesterday we posted our analysis of the much-hyped GM/Chrysler merger, quoting sources which said as many as 70,000 Americans would be thrown out of work if the merger goes through.

Today we have more - and worse - news from industry journal Automotive News.

"A merger between General Motors and Chrysler LLC would result in the closing of as many as half of Chrysler's factories and elimination of all but about seven core models, according to a report by consulting firm Grant Thornton LLP.

"A deal also could result in a loss of 100,000 to 200,000 jobs at the two automakers, suppliers and other industry stakeholders, said Kimberly Rodriguez, principal of Grant Thornton's automotive practice (italics ours).

"Rodriguez said she believes negotiators could reach an agreement in principal as soon as Tuesday, Nov. 4, election day. Reuters reported yesterday that GM and Chrysler's owner, Cerberus Capital Management LP, have resolved major issues and the final form of any accord will depend on financing and U.S. government support."

We still say - and hope someone is listening - that the first step and best solution to America's auto industry problems is to merge the Detroit Three into one company which would be able to take advantage of the entire $25 billion industry bailout from DC and create an entity which all Americans would be happy to support (as long as the cars and trucks produced are right for the market).

Of course, financial aid, retraining, help with mortgages and car loans and leases and whatever else Washington could do to help those thrown out of work is a necessity.

Why does there always have to be a "loser" in American business? Whether GM merges with Ford or Chrysler, or Ford and Chrysler merge, it would create a company so powerful that the "odd man out" would be putting up "Closed - Gone Fishing" signs on their factories within two years.