Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
DaimlerChrysler AG , , with headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany and Auburn Hills, Michigan, is a prominent automobile and truck manufacturer, formed in 1998 by the buyout of the Chrysler Corporation (USA) by Daimler-Benz (Germany).
The company produces cars and trucks under Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler brands. Other car brands offered are: Smart and Maybach on the Daimler-Benz side, Dodge and Jeep on the Chrysler side. The company also had 37% in the Japanese car company Mitsubishi (since it did not participate in a new capital increase in April 2004 it's now at 22%) and the car operations of Korean manufacturer Hyundai.
As of 2002, the merged company appeared to run two independent product lines, with few signs of corporate integration. In 2003 however, it was revealed by the Detroit News that the "merger of equals" was, in fact, a buyout. This news came forth as new products such as the Chrysler Crossfire (using extensive Mercedes parts) and the Dodge Sprinter/Freightliner Sprinter (a rebadged Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van) came to market. Future cars are to share platforms across all of DaimlerChrysler's brands.
The $36 billion deception became the focal point of several lawsuits, including one filed by billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, and also a book (Taken for a Ride: How Daimler-Benz Drove Off With Chrysler, (2000) by Bill Vlasic and Bradley A. Stertz). One class action lawsuit was settled in August 2003 for $300 million. The German auto giant is also the target of a lawsuit alleging that buyers were subjected to racial slurs and discrimination. On April 7, 2005 a conclusion was announced by U.S. District Judge Joseph Farnan Jr. presiding over a bench trial in Wilmington, Del. between Kirk Kerkorian and DaimlerChrysler AG regarding the same elements of argument from the settled August 2003 case although the Judge in Kerkorian's case was found to be in favor of DaimlerChrysler's position by rejecting Kerkorian's allegations.
- Mercedes Car Group
- Chrysler Group
- Commercial Vehicle Brands
- Engine Brands
DaimlerChrysler currently holds interests in the following companies:
- 37.1% Mitsubishi Motors Corporation of Japan (currently being sold)
- 30.2% EADS, a parent company of Airbus (as of September 2002)
- 43% Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation of Japan.
- Freightliner, LLC
DaimlerChrysler sold its holdings in the following:
- 10.5% Hyundai Motor Company - Bought in 2000 and 2001 for US$572,000,000. Sold in August 2004 for US$900,000,000
DaimlerChrysler was named one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers in 2004 by Working Mothers magazine.
- The company website
- Taken for a Ride (BBC book excerpt)
- DaimlerChrysler sued for $9bn (BBC)
- DaimlerChrysler settles investor lawsuit (Car & Driver)
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