"Crafting a Vision at Daimler-Chrysler" Case Analysis

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In reviewing this article it was observed that some employees were skeptical of the merger between Chrysler and Daimler-Benz. Daimler-Benz employees were proud of the elite image and were concerned about having that tarnished by another company. Chrysler employees voiced concerns about the addition of a foreign partner to one of America's auto manufacturers. Employees needed reassurance that this merger was going to be a success! In light of all the adversity both companies faced since announcing their plans to merge, how did they remain so steadfast in their commitment to pursuing this merger? What kept them believing this merger was a good deal that deserved a second look? To answer these questions I want to step back and discuss what I believe needs to be said to raise spirits. We all know that the auto industry is always in the midst of transformation. We are in a period of auto manufacturing which defies all limits and crosses all borders, in which everything works with everything else, everywhere, all the time. It's a world where solutions matter most, where size makes a difference, and where success will depend upon our ability to align ourselves to function in a seamless way to answer our customers' every need. Other companies are indeed driving fundamental changes in customer requirements. The simplest way to describe the shift I see is this: the pure product era is over. Of course, Chrysler and Daimler-Benz have always engineered great products and have been organized to engineer great products. And while great products will always be their foundation, they need to realize that great products are no longer going to be enough, because customers are looking for solutions to new challenges presented by a transformed technological world. If Daimler-Chrysler is going to lead in this next era of auto manufacturing, they've got to keep moving in that direction. So, they must begin to think about their own products through the prism of this new marketplace....
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