'We always wanted to sell more Jeeps in Europe. I think we just found our showroom.'
Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, whose district is home to the Chrysler Corp. plant in Toledo, Ohio, that produces Cherokees and Wranglers
'Being part of Daimler-Benz will be good for Chrysler. For the question is: How long could Chrysler have remained an independent company?'
Anonymous General Motors Europe executive
'Both groups play to different markets and their programs do not interfere with one another. They will have great advantages in distribution of their products worldwide.'
Rudolf Streicher, president of Austria's Steyr-Daimler-Puch GmbH
'Chrysler needed to reinvent itself. They had gone as far as they could, since it would be tough for them to continue forward with their weaknesses in cars. This will help both approach the Third World as more of a global entity. It also will substantially change the balance of power in Europe, not to mention among the Big 3.'
Dan Gorrell, president of Strategic Vision, a consulting firm based in San Diego
'It's going to be a very interesting blending of cultures. Most auto manufacturers are very different, and Daimler and Chrysler are about as opposite as you can get.'
Yale Gieszl, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.
'It is a surprising combination, and we industry pundits had it buried in our secondary list of possible mergers. The markets like it because this means enhanced earnings for the merged company. A highly valued German stock is effectively acquiring a lowly valued U.S. stock.'
John Lawson, Salomon Brothers, London
'We are somewhat skeptical about the projected savings from the merger. It takes many years to get synergies between two companies.'
Anonymous Peugeot Group executive
'I have to wonder what role was played in all this by the German carmakers' ambition to grow, by whatever means or consequences. It's part of an inside competition between Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen.'
Renaud de Barbuat, vice president of A.T. Kearney, Paris
'I will believe it when the contracts are really signed. In the past, many fusions between big companies have failed when negotiations went further. At first glance, this deal looks very bright. But taking a closer look, the sky might not be as blue as has been announced. Daimler-Benz did not need Chrysler to expand in the U.S. market.'
Peter Schmidt, Automotive Industry Data, London
'We are the world's fifth-largest automobile manufacturer, and we are satisfied to remain that. But if we should become the sixth, that is a nice position too. I don't know if we should look for a merger partner.'
Roberto Testore, president of Fiat Auto S.p.A.
'Chrysler and Daimler complement each other very well. Chrysler has strengths where Daimler has weaknesses, and Daimler has strengths where Chrysler has weaknesses. In the end, you end up with a big company.'
Thomas Elliott, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co.
'It's apples and oranges. The decision was not related to future events we didn't know about.'
Mercedes-Benz of North America Inc. spokeswoman Donna Boland, 'categorically' denying that the merger deal was related to the company's decision last month to shelve plans to move to a new headquarters
'It's a clever deal based on opportunity. The two companies do not share a common culture, but they are moved by a common world conquest strategy. The question now is: How can they help each other? Who pushed the most for the alliance, Mercedes or Chrysler?
Anonymous Renault SA executive