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DaimlerChrysler after more McLaren shares?

REPORTS in the German press suggest that DaimlerChrysler is planning to take more shares in the TAG McLaren Group, over and above the 40% on which an option has been agreed. The aim is to make the company a wholly-owned subsidiary of the German car making group. One newspaper quoted Mercedes-Benz's Jurgen Hubbert saying that preparations are being made to increase the shareholding so that the group becomes "a daughter company".

If this is the case, DaimlerChrysler will need to come up with an estimated additional $300m, in addition to the $200m which is being used to buy a 40% share of the team. Both TAG McLaren and DaimlerChrysler have agreed not to give out any details of the sale and the arrangements which will follow it.

It is worth mentioning that DaimlerChrysler has denied that it is interested in buying Fiat - Ferrari's parent company. Hubbert was quoted as saying the owners of Fiat do not want to sell "at the moment".

Fiat says it is planning to weather the current consolidation in the motor industry by increasing production and sales of its cars around the world. This is not going to be easy as there is enormous overcapacity in the automobile market at the moment.

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