Neither Chrysler Corp. nor Daimler-Benz AG has much available assembly line capacity to offer each other.
Chrysler brings to the planned merger 15 full-fledged assembly plants in North America with a capacity of 900,000 cars and 1.7 million light-duty trucks annually.
That includes 10 truck plants that averaged a 99.5 percent use rate last year. Its five car plants were used at an 85 percent rate. Several plants run three shifts.
Daimler has six assembly plants that produced 726,000 cars and light trucks last year. The company has been running plants overtime to fulfill demand of several products.
Two plants under construction will bring another 250,000 to 300,000 units of car capacity a year. They are a second A-class factory in Brazil and the MCC Smart car factory in Hambach, France.
Chrysler has nine more vehicle-producing ventures around the world. Its Beijing Jeep joint venture produces Cherokees for China. A new Brazilian truck plant opens later this year.
The company also will assemble Jeeps in Cordoba, Argentina, and Valencia, Venezuela.
Chrysler also produces low volumes from knock-down kits in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Egypt.
It also has access to 120,000 cars a year from Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America Inc. in Normal, Ill.
Daimler operates a kit factory in Mexico, producing about 1,000 cars a year, and another in East London, South Africa.
But how Daimler and Chrysler can take advantage of each other's plants is a tough question.
The companies have said they do not intend to mix product lines. Even if they wanted to, they would face a technical problem, notes Michael Robinet, managing director of CSM Forecasting Inc., an international industry-tracking firm in Farmington Hills, Mich.
'Daimler and Chrysler physically build their vehicles in very different ways,' Robinet says. 'To bring one into the other's factory would require them to build a whole new body shop, which would defeat the purpose of sharing a factory.'
But one factory is already building Chrysler and Mercedes products.
An independent company, Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG in Austria, turns out Chrysler minivans, Jeep Grand Chero-kees, Mercedes-Benz E-class wagons and the Mercedes Gelaendewagen.