Investors, Analysts: Daimler is Losing Its Way
Why did Daimler AG– already involved in aerospace, a French limousine company, synthetic fuel and (God help them) Chrysler– purchase 22 percent of Tognum AG? The German carmaker claims its €585 million investment in the fabricator of engines for agricultural threshers, military tanks and ships– makes good business sense 'cause Tognum is a major supply-chain partner. Hey, it's new tech! New markets! But wait, there's more! Under the prosaic project name "Business Innovation," CEO Dieter "no corporate diet" Zetsche has charged several high-ranking managers with finding new targets for synergy (a.k.a. whatever). Automobilwoche agrees with analysts and investors who find this acquisition strategy deeply worrisome. "There can only be one reason for Zetsche to be interested in unrelated businesses: apparently Daimler does not see enough growth prospects in its core business of making cars." The news that Daimler is getting back into its old conglomerate habit "should be alarming to any investor," says the German magazine. Looks like Daimler's ability to keep to the old adage "stick to the knitting" is coming undone.