Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche says he formed an emotional bond with Chrysler while running the company from 2000 to 2005, when it was owned by Daimler. And so he says he watches what happens at Chrysler with special interest.
When asked about the ambitious five-year plan announced this month by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne, Zetsche was polite, but guarded.
"First of all, I wish Sergio and his team all success with Chrysler because ... I am still very much related to this brand," he said. "I spent five great years with this company. I compliment him and the team for what they have accomplished.
"Now the question is sustainability of the success," said Zetsche, "and I think the main lever which provides sustainability is product and [what's in] the pipeline. I cannot see into their product pipeline, so therefore, I cannot predict how this will continue. But once again, I very much hope for success."