October 25, 2007
Daimler Shareholders Benzed out of Shape over Company Name Change
Many Daimler shareholders are complaining about the company's name change from DaimlerChrysler to Daimler AG.
There's certainly nothing inspiring about the "AG" appellation, but Daimler and Chrysler never struck me as belonging together in the first place. The Daimler name evokes Lord Peter Wimsey: upper class, upscale, luxury cars with a good turn of speed (and perhaps a whiff of the turn of the previous century). Chrysler, on the other hand, is Lee Iacocca and the tough neighborhood that is Detroit (no longer really Motor City).
So I sympathize less with those who object to a change than with those who would prefer to see the Mercedes-Benz name brought back in. Daimler was always a better fit with Mercedes than with Chrysler, and a return to the previous "Daimler-Benz" would doubtless have been preferable to many people, especially, of course, the heirs of Carl Benz. But that wasn't an option, according to CEO Dieter Zetsche.
One advantage the new company name does have is that the company is unlikely to need to change it again to reflect future acquisitions or sell-offs.
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