STUTTGART - Sharpening of brand identities will be a priority issue for top executives of DaimlerChrysler at their meeting 26 September in Stuttgart.
The executives are expected to set priorities for integrating the six brands: Mercedes-Benz, Smart, Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth and Jeep.
DaimlerChrysler AG will not officially begin business until December. Earlier, the company hoped Day One would happen in November. Shareholders of Daimler-Benz AG and Chrysler Corp. voted 18 September to merge.
After Day One opening ceremonies, a joint group of 248 top DaimlerChrysler executives will meet for two or three days to plan strategy, said Juergen Schrempp, co-chairman of DaimlerChrysler. The executive group will be include 150 from Daimler-Benz, 80 from Chrysler and the 18 management board members of DaimlerChrysler.
Compensation is likely to be a big issue among managers. Chrysler executives make more than Daimler executives, and Chrysler has been more profitable even though it is smaller. Shareholders at the 14-hour Daimler-Benz meeting raised many questions about pay.
'We knew remuneration was the No. 1 worry because we addressed it wrongly,' said Juergen Hubbert, who heads the Mercedes-Benz car unit.
Hubbert said brand separation is critical to the success of the merger.
'We will describe different values and positioning for the six brands products and clearly define what each brand means,' he said.
He said all six brands, including Smart, will have their own showrooms and identities even if DaimlerChrysler appoints one distributor in new markets for all six brands.
The companies will merge their identities in one visible way on Day One, said Hubbert. The pale blue Chrysler logo will adopt the darker Mercedes-Benz blue for its logo.