US Execs vs Germany, UK, France, etc.

Dennis R Redmond dredmond at OREGON.UOREGON.EDU
Wed Jun 17 17:24:29 PDT 1998

On Wed, 17 Jun 1998, Enrique Diaz-Alvarez wrote:

> Why did they [Daimler and Chrysler] agree to have the company
> incorporated under German law?

Germany doesn't tax capital gains, as far as I know, and the US does, so there are huge tax advantages to this sort of thing. But more importantly, Daimler is buying Chrysler, not the other way around -- DB is the most profitable auto firm on the planet, with cash reserves that make Bill Gates look like a piker, and the leading enviro auto tech in the world (for which we may thank the German Greens and Schwabia's sterling tradition of engineering excellence). Chrysler is the weakest of the Big Three and could get clobbered if the SUV market ever sours, so it's a case of small Northamerican dogs figuring out its best to run with the really big Eurodogs.

I have to admit, Daimler handled the whole buyout with impressive savoir faire. American yahoos are fond of bashing Europeans as being plodders with overpriced labor and terrible management, but Juergen Schremp, Daimler's CEO, played the global card in his business-class English, used the M-word (merger) instead of the B-word (buyout) and swayed even the neonationalists on Wall Street with arguments that Daimler needs a transfusion of American biz acumen (which it doesn't, but you don't become a $70 billion global heavy industrial behemoth by telling your customers what they don't want to hear).

-- Dennis

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