West Germany: Growing Old Richly

While West German officials watched nervously, Jordan's King Hussein recently sped round and round a Stuttgart test track in a Mercedes 230 SL sports car, so enthralled that he refused to continue his tour of a nearby assembly plant. The products of Stuttgart's Daimler-Benz A.G. have proved irresistible not only to Hussein but to enough other kings and commoners to make Daimler Europe's third-ranked automaker and the Continent's biggest manufacturer of trucks and buses. Half the "big" cars-with engines larger than 1.7 liters-and half the trucks on German highways carry the shiny, three-pointed Daimler-Benz star. Daimler's star has risen even...

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