WASHINGTON — Daimler AG, newly divorced from Chrysler LLC, doesn't intend to be a wallflower in the U.S. capital.
The German automaker's Mercedes-Benz USA unit is now a full voting member of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a leading lobby for car companies in the United States.
"We plan to be engaged," says Jake Jones, Daimler's vice president for external affairs and public policy in North America. "A lot of very important work goes on at the alliance."
Daimler employs 24,000 Americans, Jones notes.
Mercedes-Benz joined the alliance seven weeks ago, a spokeswoman says. Other full members are the Detroit 3, Toyota, BMW and Volkswagen. Porsche, Mitsubishi and Mazda are associate members.
The Mercedes-Benz membership means that import-brand automakers have a clear voting majority in the alliance. Some industry officials said that was true when DaimlerChrysler was a member, but to others that company retained domestic characteristics.
From its inception, the alliance has reflected the disappearing distinctions between domestics and imports.
The alliance began in 1999 after Daimler-Benz AG acquired Chrysler Corp.
At that point, Mercedes-Benz dropped out of the Association of International Automobile Man-ufacturers, which today represents 14 import-brand auto-makers.