In 1998, German automaker Daimler–Benz purchased Chrysler for $38 billion. The combined company was named as Daimler–Benz. It was one of the biggest cross-border industrial mergers ever. The merger was called as “Mergers of Equals.” The consolidation of two automobile giants resulted in a global automobile company with sales of more than $150 billion, catapulting the combined company as the fifth largest car manufacturer at the time of merger. The merger paved the way for the German auto giant to expand into the United States. Daimler–Benz shareholders received one share of the new company for every share they held. Chrysler shareholders received 0.547 of the new company’s shares for every Chrysler share they owned. Daimler shareholders owned 57% of the company, while Chrysler shareholders owned 43% of the combined company.
In 2007, Chrysler Group was sold off to Cerberus Capital Management. During 2011, Italian automaker Fiat SpA became Chrysler Group LLC’s majority owner, thereby clearing the way for a complete restructuring of Chrysler after it emerged from bankruptcy in 2009. Smooth integration was a key challenge to Daimler–Chrysler merger. The two automotive companies were never fully integrated. The potential expected synergies from the deal went unrealized. Daimler which was known for luxury brands and affluent customers failed to understand the conscious concerns of the US automakers.
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