"But the Reality Was That We Couldn't Actually Achieve Global Integration Because It Was at Odds With the Image of Our Brands"
No, we're not talking about Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson's impending breakup. We're quoting directly from the mustachioed horse's mouth. The headline my friends, is none other than Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche (Dr. Z to you and me) discussing why the 1998 "merger of equals" between Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler failed so miserably. To refresh your memory (in case your life is filled with more interesting activities than watching the disintegration of poorly planned global corporations)… Daimler sold Chrysler for billions and billions less than they paid for it to a hedge fund last year. Our favorite David Cross-lookalike CEO was speaking to gathered business leaders at a symposium about "Global Capitalism, Local Values" trying to explain exactly what went so badly. He points to the level of cooperation between MB and Chrysler as being "less" than he would have liked. Dr. Z goes on to say that Daimler learned a valuable lesson. "It's fair to say that we overestimated the potential of passing leading-edge technology from Mercedes-Benz to Chrysler. Unlike premium brand customers, American volume brand customers are far too price-sensitive to absorb its cost." To which TTAC says, "Duh!" And of course, know thy brand.