Daimler AG is a vehicle manufacturer. But there is quite a story about this company and its (brand) name.
The current business unit of Daimler AG consists of four divisions: Mercedes Benz cars, Daimler Trucks, Daimler Services and the last division is producing vans and buses.
Curiously, the Daimler brand dedicated to automobiles has never been included in the company. That brand led a separate life part of a first British company, later part of Ford and recently the Daimler car-brand got transferred to Tata motor in India.
Daimler is also the company of “the” merger with Chrysler. People often critic mergers, but you should see it as a marriage; the two candidates often break their vows. That shouldn't be a problem. However, when the divestment of Chrysler was announced last year the stock of DaimlerChrysler went up; the market was glad that the relation was ended.
On the Daimler AG website there are investment report back to 1979 “when the 84th stockholders meeting was held.” Most interesting are the reports of 1998 – the one of the merger – 2006 and 2007 to understand the changes.
The 2007 annual report shows the corporate values of Daimler: passion, respect, integrity and discipline. I wondered where these came from: from Daimler or from Chrysler. The values where not new, they existed in 2006 also when both companies we still together. But in the new Chrysler website – which doesn't offer an annual report, there is no reference to those values.
Chrysler was said to be more profitable, DaimlerBenz was bigger… But that was at the beginning.
More than any simple marriage, a merger “amongst equals” is more than a challenge. In this case the cultural differences between the US and Germany are numerous. It started with flying from the US to Germany and visa versa. A special Airbus was bought to serve this company traffic (1).
It goes beyond this short article to evaluate the differences, although one was quite elementary: “Titles are important in America too,” says Eaton from Chrysler at one moment. Showing the difference in how both companies value status. Eaton was the “pragmatic hands-on engineer,” Schremp the champion of shareholders value (1).
But back to the values: the corporate values are not new for the Daimler company, the values – passion, respect, integrity and discipline – where there before. Most likely is that these values have been designed by German management and they have not been fully accepted in the US.
Interesting about these values is their presentation. Daimler AG is one of the few companies that has visibly linked their values to the strategy (see pyramid the annual report).
(1) – [http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Downs/9323/dc.htm#time]