Talk about misreading the market... Green Car Congress posts a link to a nice bit of crow eaten by the CEO of DaimlerChrysler, Dieter Zetsche. Admitting that they, along with most other car companies, had completely misjudged the market impact of hybrid cars -- and given Toyota and Honda the "moral high ground" -- Zetsche said that DaimlerChrysler was working with GM to build next-generation hybrid technologies.
Zetsche added that the collaboration between GM and Chrysler aimed at developing full-hybrid architecture will benefit both companies.
"As my wife often says, 'If you know you're going to arrive a bit late to the dinner party, be sure you bring the best wine,' " he said.
GM executives have said the new hybrid system will be available on full-size SUVs and pickup trucks by 2007.
But according to Technology Review's comments on the GM/Daimler-Chrysler technology, it's only going to give us 20 mpg SUV's, not 55+ mpg vehicles. I think they're still seriously misreading the market here, but we'll see. More commentary on this at altenergyaction.org - "Hybrids in Name Only".
While it is a win to get 15 mpg drivers into 20 mpg cars ... it's possible that those 20 mpg SUVs are the old plan, the one that they were caught with while the Prius caught on.
FWIW, they have other things in europe that would be a better "green Mercedes." Check out the A-Class. I saw one on the road in Irvine California, not far from their west coast design center ... it could be they're (re-)considering it for the US market.