When DaimlerChrysler sold the last of its stock in Mitsubishi Motors, it ended an equity partnership dating back a third of a century.
It never seemed like a marriage made in heaven, but it was convenient. After the first oil crisis in the 1970s, Mitsubishi gave the old Chrysler Corp. access to small cars until Chrysler could develop its own.
In return, Chrysler gave Mitsubishi access to America through Chrysler dealerships until Mitsubishi could establish its own network.
In the 1980s, when Chrysler was recovering from its brush with death and shaking off the effect of the second oil crisis, it bought millions of engines from Mitsubishi.
The two automakers even formed the Diamond-Star joint venture and shared a factory in Normal, Ill., until Chrysler sold its share to Mitsubishi, which continued to build some Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth models there.
And there's still a link. Mitsubishi's new-for-2006 Raider pickup is built on the Dodge Dakota platform and assembled by Chrysler at the Warren Truck plant in suburban Detroit.
So even though they're divorced, DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi must remain friends for the sake of the kids.
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