WASHINGTON -- DaimlerChrysler AG will put on a big show here next week. But it's not for the vehicle-buying public.
Instead, the German-American company is holding a three-day exhibition, symposium and celebration for public officials and the media. The program is called "Impact on America."
The intent is to impress hundreds of policy-makers and opinion shapers with DaimlerChrysler's importance to the U.S. economy and society, despite its mixed parentage.
"This is a demonstration of the full scope of DaimlerChrysler and its commitment to the United States," says Dennis Fitzgibbons, the company's executive director of public policy.
Such flag-waving is spreading and accelerating in the auto industry. Advertising by Toyota Motor North America Inc. that features its U.S. plants and workers is a prominent example.
The phenomenon occurs at a time when polls suggest that most Americans don't care where vehicles are made. This also is a time of relative peace on the auto trade front.
Still, automakers worry about being placed at a competitive disadvantage by subtle changes in laws, regulations and attitudes that benefit "American" companies.
DaimlerChrysler is especially sensitive to that threat. The 1998 merger of Daimler-Benz AG and Chrysler Corp. often is described as a German takeover of a U.S. company.