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Chrysler had already had the resources for a RWD platform but Diamler wanted to be cheap and made then use Mercedes parts.
From what I've heard from a Chrysler engineer, Mercedes wasn't being cheap. Mecedes was requiring them to be built with Mercedes parts, so Mercedes could profit from them. Even during their "merger of equals" days, Mercedes considered themselves separate and very much MORE than equal. To this day, a lot of Chryslers are still stuck with buying major Mercedes parts for service and even still in production parts.
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