There's a new blue and white flag flying over the Jeep assembly complex here.
It's the only noticeable change since new parent company DaimlerChrysler began operating last week. But regional growth directors say the automaker eventually could bring new businesses to the Toledo area while also making jobs at Jeep more secure.
The merger between Chrysler and Germany's DaimlerBenz AG created the world's fifth biggest automaker.
The deal is important in an area where there are about 7,000 DaimlerChrysler workers, easily making the company the Toledo region's largest employer with an annual payroll of about $400 million.
Jeep already is sold worldwide, so the company won't be looking for new markets. "Jeep is one of the most recognized names around the world," said DaimlerChrysler spokesman Sjoerd Diskstra.
The real benefit could come in Europe, where there are many more Mercedes dealers than Chrysler, Diskstra said. Mercedes dealers there may decide to also sell Jeeps.
About 10 percent of the Jeep Cherokees and Wranglers made in Toledo are sold overseas.
Jeep has just started a $1.2 billion expansion and renovation of its operations in Toledo. The new factory has been designed to switch production lines quickly, but it's too early to tell whether any Mercedes-Benz work could be done there, said Jeep plant manager Ed Mercer.
"We've done a lot with this plant to make it flexible," Mercer said.