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http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2007-10-04/theres-plenty-in-a-name-mr-dot-benz

Businessweek Archives

There's plenty in a name Mr. Benz


The former DaimlerChrysler changed its name to Daimler AG, choosing not to revert back to the Daimler-Benz AG name it had before its troublesome 1998 merger with Chrysler.

The rationale for this decision? Um. Uh. Well…Exactly.

There are plenty of ready examples of the efficiencies gained through proper brand management of one name: Toyota, Honda, Suzuki, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, IBM, Apple.

But the management team that gave us the Mercedes R-Class and the Dodge Nitro…they have a better idea. Let’s actually divorce the corporation’s name from its most valued asset—Mercedes-Benz. Despite the fact that the company has assets such as Freightliner Truck, I would have been advocating for, perhaps Mercedes-Benz AG, rather than losing Benz all together.

Having covered the company for many years, I bet I know the reasoning hatched in Stuttgart. They reckon that in case they get into a management scandal, or mismanage the company into bad deals that drive down the stock price, they want their most valued asset, Mercedes-Benz, completely insulated. It’s an incredibly cycnical way to manage a brand, but I would be that’s the reason.

Well…at least the folks driving old classic Daimler branded cars to the collectible car shows will be pleased.


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