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The Big Three

Remember when GM, Ford and Chrysler carried around that nickname with pride?

Then, a few years ago, we noticed some of the automotive folks we know starting to call the three companes “The Detroit Three”. Still an impressive title. Detroit’s a big city and they make a lot of cars. 

But this year, we’re hearing a few rumblings that the question is not whether the name should be Big Three or Detroit Three — now the question is whether the number should remain “Three”.

Thomas Stallkamp, an industrial partner at New York private equity firm Ripplewood Holdings and former Chrysler president, asked just that on Monday. His thoughts were pretty unsettling — especially if you work for Chrysler.

Stallkamp was one of the featured guests at this year’s Reuters Autos Summit, whch runs through Thursday in Detroit.