SEPTEMBER 20, 1999
Gossip in Frankfurt
The strongest rumors at the moment continue to link DaimlerChrysler with a takeover - friendly or otherwise - of the PSAÊPeugeot Citroen group as a means of breaking into the small car market and strengthening the German company. Last week there was a significant move within DaimlerChrysler when the boss of the Smart car division Lars Brorsen resigned, citing differences of opinion with the company over future policy. A takeover of Peugeot would also stop the French company moving into the Mercedes market with the newly-announced Peugeot 607. Peugeot is controlled by the Peugeot family which owns 22.6% of the shares. The public owns 60%.
Volkswagen is still tipped to be the company most likely to get its hands on BMW while General Motors is looking at increasing its European sales dramatically by a European marketing drive and, perhaps, by a takeover.
Our spies tell us that GM is looking even more closely at a future Formula 1 program to support a market drive in Europe and that the matter will be discussed again soon when the company has done some more research about the impact of F1 racing.