- History of Chrysler Corporation
- History of Daimler-Benz Corporation
- Short Summery of Current Position of DaimlerChrysler
- Reasons for Merger and New Opportunities
- Opportunities in New Markets
- Decrease in Price of Materials Bought from Suppliers
- Decrease in R&D Expenses per Production Unit
- Confluence of Technologies of Both Corporations
- Double Strength of the New Corporation
- Market Concerns
- New Corporation
- Achievements of the New Corporation
- Survey of Recent Stock Performance
- Comments on some of Financial Ratios of the New Corporation
- Government Concerned that…
- Environmental Issues in the New Corporation
History of Chrysler Corporation
It would be true to say that Chrysler Corporation was born long ago before the year 1925 (when it was officially established). It was started as a result of Walter P. Chryslers efforts to create a car that would be affordable and competitive in the market. The first car would incorporate four-wheel hydraulic brakes and a high-compression six-cylinder engine.
In 1924, New York for the first time saw a car that became the ancestor of all generations of Chryslers cars. It was the Chrysler Six. The car was not allowed to be presented at the New York Automobile Show, because it was not in production. But to put it in production Walter Chrysler needed to raise external funds. Eventually he came up with a very inventive ideato park his car in front of the building in which the show took place. Going to the show, exhibitors and investors had a chance to see the Chrysler Six. Chryslers efforts led to successa Chase Security Banker underwrote a five million dollars issue of Maxwell Motor Corporation (the company of which Walter Chrysler was a chairman) debenture bonds to finance future development.
In a year Walter Chrysler purchased Maxwell Motor Corporation, renamed it to Chrysler Corporation and became the only owner of it. The new company was growing very fast. By the end of the year Chrysler Corporation had 3800 dealers in the United Stated alone. The profit that year was about $17 million.
In 1934, the company introduced Airflow to the market. This car was a result of engineer Carl Breers and Orville Wrights work. They had been working on a new generation of cars with a teardrop front. Unfortunately this car did not match customers tastes. However the company recovered thanks to innovations like ball bearings treated with Superfinish, a forerunner of the automatic transmission (fluid Drive), and the color-coded “Safety-Signal” speedometer. The company continued this success in 941, when it introduced the luxury-oriented Town & Country wagon. This was the companys first minivan with nine-passenger seating and a rear hatch. Besides that, it was the first minivan with genuine wood exterior panels. This model was in big demand.
On August 18, 1940, the company was shaken by grief: Chrysler Corporations founder, Walter P. Chrysler, passed away.
In 1955, Chrysler Corporation debuted its “master piece”Chrysler C-300. This car was the most powerful full-size car in the world, and soon won twenty out of forty races conducted in 1955.
Chrysler Corporation played a big role in production for military service during World War II. The companys full capacity was directed toward production of tanks and 40mm trailer-mounted anti aircraft guns. In total, Chrysler participated in sixty-six military projects that were worth of more than 3.4 billion dollars between 1940 and 1945.
With the beginning of the era of space conquest, the Chrysler Corporation actively participated in the construction of powerful engines used to launch astronauts into orbit. NASA chose Chrysler to construct the Saturn 1 and Saturn 1B launch vehicles, which were assembled at its plant in Louisiana.
In May of 1998, an event took place that led to huge changes in the auto world. Two of the worlds most profitable car manufacturers, Daimler-Benz and Chrysler Corporation, agreed to combine their businesses in an equal merger.
History of Daimler-Benz
On October 1, 1883, Karl Benz started his own company, which was called Benz & Cie, Rheinishe Gas Motor Enfabrik. Benzs cars increased in popularity after he started to build multiple cylinder engines with 16 horsepower, which increased the speed. The sale of automobiles was increasing every year. In the single year of 1901, Benz & Cie sold 2,702 vehicles. By that time, Benz was selling his vehicles in France, England, Russia, United States, and Singapore. Two years later at the age of 60, Karl decided to retire from the car business and the company was taken over by his sons, Eugen and Richand. On April 4, 1929, at the age of 84, Karl Benz passed away at his house at Ladenburg. At the present time, Karl Benz is considered to be a pioneer in car building in Germany and worldwide. In Germany, Benz is a history figure and often there are signs at Mercedes dealerships, which say, “Father Benz."
During World War II both companies, Benz & Cie and Daimler-Mototern-Gesellschaft, were ordered to change their production lines for military purposes. Both companies stopped making cars and began the production of Benz & Cie aircraft engines. DMG was building the aircraft. 1916 was a dramatic increase the number of employees in Benz and DMG factories. The number of workers of the Benz factories increased from 7700 to 12,000 and DMGs workers increased from 3750 to 16,000. When the war was over, thins became very difficult for the German car builders. Many car-building companies had stopped production and had to close down their factories. Both Benz and DMG were greatly affected by the war and by 1924, the presidents of both companies signed a merger agreement, “Agreement of Mutual Interest,” which made them into one company.
During this time, the Mercedes model became very famous and recognizable around the world. Due to the increased popularity of the model Mercedes, the new company was named Mercedes-Benz. The name Daimler-Benz was used also. For the next decade, the Mercedes-Benz dominated the German automobile market. Mercedes sales were much higher than the other German car companies, such as BMW and Opel.
In the early 1930s history repeated itself with the rise of Adolph Hitler. The management of Mercedes-Benz began gradually to lose control of the company. The new government brought the vehicle under strict regulation. The whole German car industry was taken over by the National Socialists. Hitler announced that the production of German cars would be “drastically reduced” (Kimer, p. 276, 1986). In the mid 30s the Mercedes-Benz factories were beginning to be used for military purposes. This idea was given by Jakob Werlen, the former manager of MercedesBenz, who later became Hitlers personal advisor of transportation. An interesting fact is that Hitler had many kinds of cars, but whenever he was photographed in a vehicle, it was a Mercedes. One of Hitlers favorite models was his parade car, type 770, the “Grosser Mercedes” (Kimer, p. 282, 1986).
Wilhelm Kissel was a general director of the company in the mid and late 30s. He tried to keep his company free from government involvement, but this proved to be too difficult. By wartime, the Mercedes-Benz factories were basically making military products. By the time Hitler started the war with the U.S.S.R., Mercedes-Benz was making all kinds of army equipment. The German army needed the best machines and Mercedes-Benz factories were producing planes, trucks, tanks, and various kinds of engines. The most famous Mercedes war product was a military plane called Msserschmitt. This plane made the Luftwaffe the best airforce in the world. The Msserschmitt was considered the best plane at that time; it had a Mercedes DB 600 engine, which made this plane much faster than any other planes in the world (Kimer, p. 283, 1986).
In 1945, after the end of the war, all of the Daimler-Benz factories, much like the rest of Germany, were ruined. An American reporter wrote about what he had observed in Germany right after the war - “Cities were dead, factories idle bridges down, rails gone. Rubble was everywhere” (Kimer, p. 283, 1986). World War II completely destroyed Daimler-Benz, at one time the worlds largest automobile company.
It took more than three years to rebuild the factories. However, many divisions of the company were lost because they ended up in East Germany. At first the company was rebuilding U.S. army vehicles. By 1949, over 6,000 cars had been built and the main focus of Mercedes-Benz was again the production of luxury cars (Kimer, p. 290, 1986).
Within the next two years, the company was completely rebuilt and the number of employees since the beginning of the war was doubled. Now the number of workers was almost 40,000. By the year 1952, Mercedes-Benz had built 100,000 cars and 250 in the United States. In 1955, the new models 220, 300, and 300S were introduced in a Frankfort Auto Show and the model 300S was named the car of the year. From that time, Mercedes started to export more cars around the world. However, most of the cars were sold in Germany (Consumer Guide, p. 32, 1986).
By 1960, the Mercedes was the number one selling car in Germany, but at the same time, the BMW became a very close competitor. Mercedes lost a large share of the market to BMW. This was a time when the company started to look for new markets. The United States was a prom