Hot on the heels of the announcement that the merger of equals will become a partial-ownership-but-mostly-sale-of-no-longer-equals comes an e-mail from Grand Master Mustache Dieter Zetsche to his beloved employees. Something about "toughest thing I've done in my professional career" and "Chrysler will be more agile and flexible"... and then my eyes glazed over. No word on how Cerberus will make Chrysler more flexible, but like I said, I didn't read it too close. It could have said everybody gets a free puppy and ice cream and I would have missed it. Full mailer after the jump...
May 14, 2007
This morning, we announced Cerberus will take an 80.1% equity position in Chrysler and its related financial services business, with Daimler retaining the remaining 19.9%. Following a relatively short but very carefully prepared and thorough review of options, we're confident that we've found the best solution for Chrysler and for Daimler. We are now working hard to formally conclude our agreement as quickly as possible.
Endorsing this decision is the toughest thing I've done in my professional career. Like so many of you, I have made a personal investment in and commitment to both Chrysler and Daimler. And this is exactly the reason that we explored all options to find the best solution for Chrysler's long-term future.
That said, I firmly believe this is an exciting day for Chrysler. It's a new beginning. Backed by a strong partner in Cerberus, Chrysler, as a privately held company, has the best opportunity for success and to realize its full potential.
Chrysler will be more agile and flexible. You'll also be better-positioned to seek out the automotive partners that best fit your needs. You can more sharply focus on the continued implementation of the Recovery and Transformation Plan, the first results of which we can already see.
Daimler and Chrysler will continue to work together, now as business partners, on key joint programs including procurement, powertrain development, logistics and financial services. Through a Joint Automotive Council, we'll coordinate and evaluate current and future programs that can help drive our mutual success.
You should all be proud of what you've accomplished in recent years at Chrysler. You've made significant gains in productivity, quality and cost reduction; launched a record number of new products; and fought it out in the toughest market in the world. You've built the strongest of the North American-based auto companies. I'm personally very proud to have been a part of that.
I know the road ahead won't always be easy. It never is. But I'm confident that Chrysler will come back strong as it has done so many times in its long history. And I look forward to working with Chrysler, our new business partner under Tom's able leadership, in the years ahead.
I wish you all every success.