German Daimler-Benz and American Chrysler were merged in 1998. By the mid-1990s Chrysler had survived near bankruptcy experiencing deep and reverse fluctuations in following years. The merger with Daimler-Benz has not tempered these fluctuations even though they have used strategic planning and technical resources to improve the situation.
The turmoil that followed did not help either. The cultural problems faced by DaimlerChrysler have been numerous and caused considerable problems and delayed the integration of both organizations. Evidence of the lack of true sharing and cooperation was soon to emerge.
[...] As the German side of this merger was operating efficiently, bringing somebody over from Germany has a higher chance of putting the company back on track with operating profits. Chrysler's getting back on the track is not just measured in financial or operational measurements and statistics. It is also measured in the organizational climate created by Dieter Zetsche and increasing morale of the employees, which in turn has a tremendous impact on the financial and operational efficiency of the merger. [...]
[...] Finally, he should develop new policies and practices consistent with vision of DaimlerChrysler enabling management of the learning processes, e.g., building learning into the partnership agreement; setting up career plans; using training to stimulate the learning process; specifying responsibility for learning; and rewarding learning activities. The strange truth today is that only a German can save the American icon Mr. Zetsche has a boundless trust of the DaimlerChrysler CEOs in Germany. This makes corporation much easier. Zetsche had also other very good relationships with managers in Germany, which allowed him to use components and technology that the American CEO was not able to do. [...]
[...] The aim of this was provide a better quality final product thanks to sharing R&D expenditures. Using Mercedes parts for Chrysler vehicle could save a considerable amount of money for DaimlerChrysler. Also, Zetsche decided to lower prices on some of the vehicles to make them affordable to lower income customers. Along with this the culture changed, both to reflect the new strategy and the new leadership. Zetsche and his team were much more equalitarian: They were eating in the employee cafeteria rather than the executive dining room at the headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. [...]
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