Taken for a Ride

Bill Vlasic and Bradley A. Stertz

William Morrow
372 pages

German automaker DaimlerChrysler AG has been in the news lately—its stock price has been tanking, what’s left of Chrysler’s brain trust is out the door, shareholders are suing. What in 1998 was hyped as “a merger of equals” is now getting bad press as a big-business debacle of Hindenburgian proportions. This book, subtitled “How Daimler-Benz Drove Off With Chrysler,” details this slow-motion carmaker crash. Chrysler was the most profitable car manufacturer, per vehicle, in the world. Then, billionaire Kirk “MGM Grand” Kerkorian hooked up with Lee “K Car” Iacocca to mount a hostile takeover, so Chrysler execs hopped in the sack with crafty D-Benz head honcho Jürgen Schrempp—who promised roses but delivered whips and chains and specialist underwear. If you fancy a good read about what happens when businessmen stupidly imagine themselves to be reincarnated Caesars, or you’re a pissed-off Mopar enthusiast (right here, dude), Taken for a Ride delivers.