Shareholders voted for Daimler AG

Last Thursday, the Extraordinary Shareholders Meeting of the DaimlerChrysler AG took place in Germany resulting to a change in its corporate name to Daimler AG, slashing the Chrysler name. It had been known that the merging of Chrysler and the Daimler-Benz AG, which the group had been formerly known before the merging had already gained criticisms from its dissidents.

The meeting was called upon in August after the selling of Chrysler LLC to Cerberus Capital Management LP based in New York. Daimler CEO, Dieter Zetsche did not mention any detail of the failed fuse with Chrysler in his speech during the meeting but emphasized that the name change will cost the company at least $100 million and that the change will be complete in April next year. The German CEO also laid the company’s plans after the renaming to making the new Daimler AG a “green” company.

To sum up, we are not striving to become the world’s largest automotive company. Instead, our aim is to be one of the most respected and admired on a permanent basis,” Zetsche said. “We’ve made massive investments in research and development, and today we have gained additional know-how in areas such as CO2 reduction, emission reduction, and vehicle safety,” he said.

“Our earnings will be more sustainable, as in the future we will no longer be so strongly dependent on the volatile North American volume market. We have more organizational and investment strength, as Chrysler retains its healthcare and pension liabilities, which total ($52 billion),” Zetsche added.

According to the company’s board of management, dropping the Chrysler name will lead to clear distinction between the corporate name and its brand names.

“When the focus is on the company as a whole in its dealings with political decision-makers and the general public, in the financial markets, in its relations with the business media, and as an employer, the automaker wants to present itself as Daimler, providing an umbrella designation for all of the individual product brands,” Zetsche said.

“Wherever the company is dealing directly with customers, and in areas where the focus is primarily on products of a single brand, the corresponding brand name will be used. The product brands Mercedes-Benz, Maybach, smart, AMG, Freightliner, Sterling, Western Star, Detroit Diesel, Setra, Thomas Built Buses, Orion, and Mitsubishi Fuso will serve as the company’s ‘business cards’ to the customers,” Zetsche said.

Zetsche also highlighted that the company had paid Ford and its British subsidiary, Jaguar $20 million for the use of the Daimler name.

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