SEVERAL READERS report that they emailed Daimler-Chrysler to express their unhappiness with Gerhard Schroeder’s anti-American tilt. Here’s the rather unsatisfactory reply they’ve been getting:
Thank you for providing us with your thoughts on U.S./German relations.
We recognize your concerns, and assure you they are shared by all of us both here in the U.S. and at our headquarters in Germany.
You may be interested to know that during a speech to metalworking companies in Germany last year, Daimler Chrysler Chairman and CEO, Juergen Schrempp, expressed the following sentiments: “The USA and Germany have always been historically closely connected with each other both through trade and capital, as well as through culture and society. And, this I say as chairman of a German-American corporation — we will do everything to promote and foster this friendship.”
We apologize for any distress this situation causes and hope that you continue to look upon your Daimler-Chrysler ownership with pride.
I wonder how much they’re paying the PR genius who drafted this reply?
UPDATE: Eugene Volokh writes that this response is appropriately “mealy mouthed.” Well, it’s also ahistorical. The reference to the close connection between Germany and America omits important stuff like U-boats and B-24s. I don’t blame Daimler for not wanting to bring it up, but, well, they’ve brought up the history so now they look dishonest. In Bogart’s phrase, it’s “poor salesmanship.”