Re: Can I play the analogy game?
That's funny you should say that, as Chrysler had a similar fate after allying themselves with a giant German company that in hindsight nobody should have trusted.
Today, Mercedes are neither beautiful nor reliable. But it wasn't Chrylser that did this.
Chrysler's quality actually nosedived after Daimler came on board, simply because the German engineers didn't understand how to do mass-market car production. The Mercedes brand had relied heavily on retroactive quality fixes on failed units during manufacturing; something you can afford to do at Merc's margins, but not on a Dodge. So, they started to abandon the few things that were working in Chrylser (notably its then-new lean-manufacturing quality programme) without addressing the problems.
Luckily, with some Italian technology and manufacturing know-how from Alfa Romeo/FIAT, their quality problems are becoming a thing of the past. Mercedes, well... less so.
(The worst car I ever owned for reliability was a Mercedes A140, Bought from new, it had three gearboxes fitted before I gave up and accepted that 2nd-3rd would always grind the box; then the steering and suspension failed, outside of the very short warranty, leaving me to pay £1200 to fix it. All within 24,000 miles.)