Taken For A Ride: How Daimler-Benz Drove Off With Chrysler
Publish Date: 2000-09-01
Author: Bill Vlasic;Bradley A. Stertz
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The biggest industrial merger of all time said the Wall Street Journal of the 1998 merger between Chrysler - a resurgent, deeply American company famous for its minivans, and Daimler - maker of Mercedes-Benz cars; and a merger that created a global mega-company with $130 billion in annual revenue. The intent was to marry Daimler's sophisticated style and international reach with Chrysler's PR savvy and proven ability to produce appealing, inexpensive cars quickly, and it seemed a perfect match of strengths to weaknesses. But in the 18 months that have followed, ugly questions have arisen: has Chrysler retained the equality it sought in a merger? Has Daimler joined a Chrysler bereft of talent and leadership? Can two such different cultures realistically be combined? This work offers an account of the merger process in action, and is also a cautionary blueprint of the perils of going global.