The head honcho at Daimler-Benz said, “This is much more than a merger. Today we are creating the world’s leading automotive company for the 21st century.” Juergen Schrempp had in mind, the way for Daimler Benz to expand in the US with the acquisition of a more moderately priced brand. For Chrysler, the merger was seen as a way to get a leg up on GM and Ford.
The new corporate entity could conceivably dominate the marketplace, enabling it to sell in all the segments of the industry from low priced subcompacts to $100,000 Mercedes sedans. The combined, corporate structure would be the largest cross-border deal in history. The $38,000,000,000 deal was announced on May 7, 1998.
The automotive and business communities were somewhat skeptical of the plan. Chrysler had a spotty, diverse history while Mercedes-Benz has long been stodgy and efficient. Germany’s less stringent antitrust officials appeared unlikely to…
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