Daimler AG (formerly DaimlerChrysler AG) is a German car corporation (not to be confused with the British car-maker Daimler Motor Company) and the world's thirteenth largest car manufacturer. By revenue it is the largest German company. As well as automobiles, Daimler manufactures trucks and provides financial services through its Daimler Financial Services arm. The company also owns major stakes in aerospace group EADS, high-technology and parent company of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes racing team McLaren Group, Japanese truck maker Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation and US automaker Chrysler Holding LLC.
DaimlerChrysler was founded in 1998 when Mercedes-Benz manufacturer Daimler-Benz (1926-1998) of Stuttgart, Germany merged with the US-based Chrysler Corporation. The deal created a new entity, DaimlerChrysler. However, the buyout failed to produce the trans-Atlantic automotive powerhouse dealmakers had hoped for, and DaimlerChrysler announced on 14 May 2007 that it would sell Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management of New York, a private equity firm that specializes in restructuring troubled companies, effectively unwinding the original transaction. On October 4, 2007 a DaimlerChrysler Extraordinary Shareholders' Meeting approved the renaming of the company. From October 5, 2007, the company has been titled Daimler AG. The US company adopted the name Chrysler LLC when the sale completed on 3 August 2007.
Chrysler reported losses of US$1.5 billion in 2006. It then announced plans to lay off 13,000 employees in mid-February 2007, close a major assembly plant and reduce production at other plants in order to restore profitability by 2008.
The merger was contentious with investors launching lawsuits over whether the transaction was the 'merger of equals' that senior management claimed or actually amounted to a Daimler-Benz takeover of Chrysler. A class action investor lawsuit was settled in August 2003 for US$300 million while a suit by billionaire investor activist Kirk Kerkorian was dismissed on April 7, 2005. The transaction claimed the job of its architect, Chairman Jürgen E. Schrempp, who resigned at the end of 2005 in response to the fall of the company's share price following the transaction. The merger was also the subject of a book Taken for a Ride: How Daimler-Benz Drove Off With Chrysler, (2000) by Bill Vlasic and Bradley A. Stertz.
Another issue of contention is whether the merger delivered promised synergies and successfully integrated the two businesses. As late as 2002, DaimlerChrysler appeared to run two independent product lines. Later that year, the company launched products that appear to integrate elements from both sides of the company, including the Chrysler Crossfire, which used extensive Mercedes parts and the Dodge Sprinter/Freightliner Sprinter, a re-badged Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van.
On August 3 2007, DaimlerChysler completed the sale of Chrysler Group to Cerberus Capital Management. The original agreement stated that Cerberus would take an 80.1 percent stake in the new company, Chrysler Holding LLC. DaimlerChrysler changed its name to Daimler AG and retained the remaining 19.9% stake in the separated Chrysler.
The terms saw Daimler pay Cerberus US$650 million to take Chrysler and associated liabilities off its hands. This is a remarkable reverse in fortunes on the US$36 billion paid to acquire Chrysler in 1998. Of the US$7.4 billion purchase price, Cerberus Capital Management will invest US$5 billion in Chrysler Holdings and US$1.05 billion in Chrysler’s financial unit. The de-merged Daimler AG received US$1.35 billion directly from Cerberus but directly invested US$2 billion in Chrysler itself.
Current members of the Board of Management of Daimler AG are: Dr. Dieter Zetsche: Chairman of the Board as well as Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. Gunther Fleig: Head of Human Resources and Labor Relations. Dr. Rudiger Grube: Head of Corporate Development. Andreas Renschler: Head of Daimler Trucks. Bodo Uebber: Head of Finance and Controlling as well as Financial Services. Dr. Thomas Weber: Head of Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
Current members of the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG are: Heinrich Flegel, Juergen Hambrecht, Thomas Klebe, Erich Klemm, Arnaud Lagardère, Jürgen Langer, Helmut Lense, Sari Baldauf, William Owens, Ansgar Osseforth, Valter Sanches, Manfred Schneider, Stefan Schwaab, Bernhard Walter, Lynton Wilson, Mark Wössner, Manfred Bischoff, Clemens Börsig and Uwe Werner. Dr Manfred Bischoff serves as the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Daimler AG and Erich Klemm as Vice-Chairman.
The regional breakdown of shareholdings as of December 31 2007 was:
DAIMLER AG, THREE SUBSIDIARIES RESOLVE FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT INVESTIGATION, AGREE TO PAY $93.6 MILLION IN CRIMINAL PENALTIES
Apr 02, 2010; WASHINGTON, April 1 -- The U.S. Department of Justice's Criminal Division issued the following news release: Daimler AG, a German...
Daimler AG and Three Subsidiaries Resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Investigation and Agree to Pay $93.6 Million in Criminal Penalties.
Apr 13, 2010; Daimler AG, a German corporation, and three of its subsidiaries have resolved charges related to a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act...
DAIMLER AG AND THREE SUBSIDIARIES RESOLVE FOREIGN CORRUPT PRACTICES ACT INVESTIGATION AND AGREE TO PAY $93.6 MILLION IN CRIMINAL PENALTIES.
Apr 01, 2010; WASHINGTON -- The following information was released by the U.S. Department of Justice: Daimler AG, a German corporation, and...
Germany : Supervisory Board of Daimler AG Extends Contracts of Dr. Dieter Zetsche and Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber; Exchange of Board of Management Responsibilities between Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard and Andreas
Feb 22, 2013; Three-year extensions for Dr. Zetsche and Prof. Weber until December 31, 2016 As of April 1, 2013: Andreas Renschler to be...