There was little cheer for the beleagured Chrysler Division of DaimlerChrysler in the comments of Dr Eckhard Cordes, member of the DC Board of Management, at the Automotive News Europe e-commerce conference at Strasbourg, France.

Dr Cordes was answering questions from the audience after outlining DC's e-commerce strategy. Questions inevitably shifted to problems at the loss-making Chrysler Division.

When asked how DC would turn Chrysler around, Dr Cordes replied that there would have to be a 'tough' traditional management approach and that Chrysler should be shown 'no mercy'.

He also blew away the myth of a 'merger of equals' by drawing on the parenthood analogy to describe the decision by Daimler-Benz to acquire Chrysler in 1998.

Dr Cordes maintained that DC continues to be happy to own Chrysler in spite of the division's 'operational problems'.