DaimlerChrysler AG Co-Chairman Robert J. Eaton's announcement last week that he would exit the automaker a year earlier than expected added momentum to rumors the automaker is on the verge of a tie-up with Italy's Fiat SpA. DC and Fiat have been in heavy negotiations for months (see Ward's Automotive Reports — Nov. 22, '98, p.5), and last week press reports out of Italy continued to suggest a share-swapping deal, with DC gaining control of Fiat Auto operations, was imminent. Also fueling ...

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