April 1995: Kirk Kerkorian, Chrysler Corp.'s largest shareholder, launches a hostile takeover bid, valuing the automaker at $22.8 billion, before withdrawing it seven weeks later.
August 1995: Daimler-Benz and Chrysler begin exploring the potential for a joint venture, known as Project Q Star, to expand outside of the U.S. and Europe, but they abandon the idea in early 1997.
September 1997: Daimler Chairman Juergen Schrempp raises the possibility of a merger with Chrysler Vice Chairman Bob Lutz during a dinner at the Frankfurt auto show.
December 1997: Tom Stallkamp, left, is named president of Chrysler.
January 1998: Schrempp meets with Chrysler Chairman Bob Eaton at Chrysler headquarters during the Detroit auto show to suggest a merger. "I have come to the conclusion that if we get together we will really fit perfectly well," Schrempp tells Eaton, according to the 2000 book Taken for a Ride by Bill Vlasic and Bradley Stertz. "Product, geography, everything fits." He also meets with Ford Motor CEO Alex Trotman at a downtown Detroit hotel later the same day. Shortly afterward, Eaton calls Kerkorian to say he's talking to Daimler and "this looks like it could be a good marriage. There are a lot of pluses." Later in January, Eaton calls Schrempp to say, "Juergen, I think this is a good idea. We should talk."