Just how many components will future Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz models share? Chrysler’s new 300 sedan gives the answer – one-fifth, reported Automotive News Europe.
Following the merger of Daimler-Benz and Chrysler in 1998, there was a lot of talk about how the ailing US brand would benefit from M-B’s legendary engineering capabilities.
However, optimists at Chrysler’s US headquarters at Auburn Hills, near Detroit, underestimated the determination of Mercedes engineers at Stuttgart, Germany, to protect their technology.
The Chrysler Crossfire, little more than a re-skinned previous-generation Mercedes SLK built by German contract coachbuilder Karmann, was introduced as an emergency stopgap to beef up Chrysler’s ageing lineup, but Mercedes Car Group CEO Jurgen Hubbert won a pledge from DC that other volume models within the group would not borrow so much technology from M-B.
“There is a decision of the board that the Crossfire will remain an exception,” said Hubbert.
DC board member Rudiger Grube emphasized the point during the Automotive News Europe Congress in Montreux, Switzerland. He said there will “never” be a Chrysler or Mitsubishi car on a Mercedes or Maybach platform, nor would Mercedes cars come from a Chrysler production line or vice versa.
The 300 shares 20% of its parts by value with Mercedes, much of it coming from the previous-generation E class including the design of the independent rear suspension, the front-seat frame, steering column and cruise control stick.