It's Mitsubishi Motors' turn to discover there is no such thing as a merger of equals with DaimlerChrysler. The Stuttgart giant's management is still battling U.S. lawsuits alleging that CEO Jürgen Schrempp misled shareholders that the 1998 tie-up would be an equal partnership. On Mar. 27, DaimlerChrysler further tightened its grip on its 37%-owned Japanese affiliate. After a 19-month stint as Mitsubishi's CEO, Takashi Sonobe will hand over the wheel in June to Rolf Eckrodt. DaimlerChrysler dispatched Eckrodt to be Mitsubishi's chief operating officer after buying a controlling stake in the company in 2000. Daimler is counting on him to expedite Mitsubishi's turnaround. Eckrodt previously restructured the Adtranz rail equipment unit. Mitsubishi should break even for the latest fiscal year, but a rash of recalls are hurting sales in Japan.

Edited by Rose Brady

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