The strengthening link between Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan alliance did not fail to relive the failed marriage between the German carmaker and US company Chrysler back in the 1990’s. When asked about the failed DaimlerChrysler merger, current Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche replied that “the marriage in heaven didn't stay in heaven."
Daimler and Chrysler officially signed their marriage in 1998, becoming the obsessively integrated DaimlerChrysler. Renault and Nissan took a loosely linked marriage a year after, in 1999.
These two alliances were pitted against each other, particularly on the question, “who will succeed better?” DaimlerChrysler definitely had the advantage back then, but ultimately failed to capitalize on it.
DaimlerChrysler called it quits after less than a decade of marriage, thereby ending the merger in 2007. Back then, there wasn’t much confidence given to the Renault-Nissan alliance.
But then, Renault and Nissan are still happily married, and even have the same chief executive in the persona of Carlos Ghosn. But for Zetsche, the past is the past. If there is anything he wants to achieve in the increased collaboration with Renault-Nissan, it is to learn from the failure of the DaimlerChrysler alliance.