"Everyone agrees that Daimler screwed Chrysler," says former chief Iacocca
21 May 2007

The man who led the turnaround of Chrysler's business fortunes 25 years ago, one-time CEO Lee Iacocca, has fired a barrage of condemnation at Daimler AG's handling of the Chrysler Group. In one of the sternest pieces of criticism since Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG sold its ailing American car brands Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge, Iacocca rants that "Daimler screwed Chrysler royally," and that their transfer to Cerberus Capital Management was "a desperation sale."In a column for American industry magazine Business Week, Iacocca writes that "Chrysler's merger with Daimler was a disaster from the start. Nine years ago, Chrysler was making $1 billion every quarter; it was the most profitable car company in the world. But it took Daimler less than a decade to drive Chrysler off a cliff."In a more constructive vein, Iacocca also suggests that Chrysler's new owner Cerberus may turn out to be a better custodian, and that the key to the group's recovery is already within."In the end, it will all come down to leadership," he writes "and the best leadership is still on the inside at Chrysler. Cerberus should give CEO Tom La Sorda the independence and flexibility he needs to show his stuff. He didn't have that with Daimler. His strengths combined with Cerberus' capital could be the formula for success."

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