Is Chrysler owned by Mercedes Benz?

In this blog, we will find out if Chrysler is still owned by Mercedes Benz and answer the following questions: did Mercedes Benz and Chrysler sell rebadge cars? Who owns Chrysler currently? Does Chrysler manufacture Mercedes Benz Cars? Which models were launched during the Daimler Chrysler alliance?

Is Chrysler owned by Mercedes Benz?

No. Chrysler is not owned by Mercedes Benz although the two automotive companies did merge for a few years from 1998 to 2007. The merger of the two companies was called a ‘ merger of the equals’ and it was the biggest deal between the American and the German companies. The overall deal was valued at 38 billion dollars. After the deal was signed between Daimler Benz and Chrysler, the company was renamed DaimlerChrysler AG.

The main objective behind the merger was to stay relevant and competitive in the ever-expanding automotive sector. The two automotive giants will share the company strategies and resources and jointly develop new models. Thus keeping the overall cost of research and development low and manufacturing more models. Mercedes Benz also introduced its new generation cars like the A, and B Class and started work on developing a small car under the brand Smart.

The collaboration with Chrysler also allowed both companies to start production of models globally. Chrysler engineers also closely studied the third generation of the E  Class model series W211 to design the LX platform used in a variety of cars sold under the Dodge brand. The Jeep also used a few suspension components from the Mercedes Benz M Class. The German design and engineering also helped to improve the overall quality of  Dodge and Jeep models compared to its previous generation.

The merger between Daimler and Chrysler did not succeed as the two companies could never really come and work together. The German work culture did not match the work culture at Chrysler. In 2000, the Daimler Chrysler alliance also signed a deal with Mitsubishi motor corporation in an effort to launch in the Asian market but the decrease in popularity of Mitsubishi and poor sales performance resulted in relinquishing of shares in 2004 by Daimler Chrysler. 

In 2007 almost 99 per cent of the assembled shareholders in a meeting voted to change the Daimlerchrysler name back to Daimler AG. This also marked the end of the Merger and Daimler sold the Chrysler Group to  Cerberus Capital Management in 2007 for 6 billion USD. 

Did the Daimler Chrysler alliance sell rebadge cars?

Yes, Mercedes Benz sprinter Van was rebadged and sold as  Dodge sprinter or Freightliner Sprinter. Apart from the sprinter vans there were no rebadge cars, both the companies maintained independent product lines. Certain components like engines, suspension geometry and final drives were shared between a few models like the Chrysler 300 and Crossfire which were based on Mercedes Benz SLK and used the same 3.2 litres Mercedes Benz engine. Certain Mercedes Benz components like electrical wiring harnesses and control units were also shared among the two companies. 

Who owns Chrysler currently?

After the split from Daimler and the financial crisis of 2008 the Detroit based company reported losses of more than 1.5 billion USD. Chrysler also laid off 13000 employees and shut down production in its major factories in order to stay functional. On April 30, 2009, Chrysler filed for Bankruptcy same time as General Motors. 

The US government loaned Chrysler more than 10 million dollars in order to recover from bankruptcy. Over the next few years Fiat group supplied key components like drivetrains and its control units to Chrysler and by 2014 Fiat gained 100 per cent control over Chrysler repaying the government loan in the process. After the acquisition of Chrysler, the Italian automaker named Fiat Chrysler Automobiles FCA. Chrysler models did not get the same level of resources as Jeep and Ram and currently, Chrysler sells only two models the 300C which was based on the third generation of C CLass and the Pacifica minivan.

Does Chrysler manufacture Mercedes Benz Cars?

No, Chrysler does not manufacture Mercedes Benz cars, the merger of the two companies was said to be equal however Daimler came out as the dominant partner. The Merger was also expected to increase the presence of Mercedes Benz in the US market. Daimler did not get the desired results from the merger on the other hand Chrysler benefited from the expertise of Mercedes Benz in manufacturing and developed the LX platform which the company still uses today.

Which brands came under the Daimler Chrysler Merger?

Daimler was the largest automotive group in Germany and Chrysler was the third automotive group behind Ford and General motors. Following are the brands which came under the Daimler Chrysler group.

  • Mercedes Benz

Mercedes Benz came under the Daimler group and it is famous for making good quality premium cars. Mercedes Benz also has a High-performance division called AMG that is focused on making high-performance versions of the ongoing standard cars. 

  • Maybach

Maybach came under the Daimler Chrysler alliance and launched only two models, the Maybach 57 and Maybach 62. Both the models were focused on luxury and premium ride quality. Both the models were powered by a V12 petrol engine producing more than 600 horsepower. Daimler expected 50 percent of sales to come from the United state America alone considering the popularity of long-wheelbase luxury cars but the overall production was just around 3000 units globally.

  • Chrysler

Chrysler is one of the top three automobile companies in America. Starting in 1925, it is also one of the oldest car companies in the world. Currently, the company is under the Faint group but when it was under the Daimler Chrysler alliance, Chrysler sold models like the 300 C,   Voyager and Grand Voyager minivans. Crossfire was also a popular model that was based on the Mercedes Benz SLK and used the same V 6 engine. The crossover / SUV segment was also popular in the 2000s and Chrysler introduced the Pacifica SUV in 2004.

  • Dodge

Dodge was sold to the Chrysler group after the death of the Dodge brothers and under the Daimler Chrysler group, Dodge used the newly developed LX platform for the Challenger and Charger models. Apart from these two models, the  Magnum station wagon was launched as a replacement for the intrepid in 2005.

  • Jeep

Jeep makes only sports utility vehicles focused on off roads and it was part of the Chrysler group since 1987. Under the Daimler Chrysler group Jeep also launched the Grand Cherokee with suspension components and an engine supplied by Mercedes Benz. After making Jeep a stand-alone entity, currently, it is owned by Stellantis corporation.

Conclusion

The Daimler Chrysler Merger failed to live up to its expectations, Daimler AG now named Mercedes Benz AG recovered from the financial crisis of 2008 thanks to the success of the S Class model series W221. Currently, Mercedes Benz is one of the largest manufacturers in the world with a presence in both domestic as well as international markets. On the other hand, the future of Chrysler is uncertain under the Fiat group.

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