The divorce of Daimler from Chrysler in 2007 wasn't complete - the German company Daimler still holds 19.9% of Chrysler - and now that lingering relationship has come back with a vengeance. Despite a year that would be only moderately unsuccessful for Daimler, Chrysler's involvement more than doubled 2008 losses to $2.45 billion.

Daimler posted a Q4 loss before interest and taxes (EBIT) of about $700 million on its own, however, so not all the blame lies at Chrysler's feet. Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche says the company is still in a good position, despite a lost forecast for 2009 as well.

Another charge of about $2.31 billion related to Daimler's ownership of Chrysler and its associated assets also ate into the company's bottom line.

About 10% fewer sales are expected this year due to the overall weak market and lack of available credit. That will spell even more hardship for Daimler, and the industry, but Chrysler's impending government aid may actually improve the overall position of Daimler simply by not weighing it down.

Zetsche summed up Daimler's outlook on the situation with a very positive message: “The Daimler Group is in a relatively strong position to meet this crisis. We have the opportunity not only to overcome this exceptional situation, but to emerge from it stronger. We are going to seize this opportunity.”