In one bold stock deal, Juergen Schrempp doubled the size of Daimler-Benz, added four brands, became a leader in light trucks and got into the mass market. Automotive News reporters and editors voted that the Coup of the Year for 1998.
Schrempp flirted with Ford, but there were no sparks. So he turned to Chrysler Corp. with marriage on his mind.
While attending the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last January, Schrempp called on Chrysler
Chairman Robert Eaton. Eaton was smitten by his overtures of a merger.
After a secret four-month romance, the pair announced the engagement of their companies May 7 in London. On Nov. 17, Daimler-Benz and Chrysler Corp. became DaimlerChrysler AG.
The plan is for both Schrempp and Eaton to be chairmen for three years; then Schrempp will take sole control. The bold, $40 billion stock deal made DaimlerChrysler the world's fifth-largest auto producer.