Daimler-Benz-Chrysler: Worldwide Fender Blender

Billed as a merger of equals, the union of Chrysler with Daimler-Benz has been anything but. Yet amid crashed marriages and careers, a transglobal company is emerging

There are lots of details that can strangle a $48 billion merger--different accounting practices, the need to rationalize information technology, patent ownerships--and Tom Stallkamp thought he'd worked through them all. As president of Chrysler, he had helped orchestrate the American company's merger with Germany's Daimler-Benz. But last November, as the new outfit, DaimlerChrysler, approached the date it would debut on the New York Stock Exchange, the whole thing stalled seemingly over whether the company would use American- or European-size business cards. The more tradition-bound Germans dug in their heels, not surprisingly. But the more flexible Yanks wouldn't budge either. "It got...

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