STUTTGART -- DaimlerChrysler expects its ailing Smart small-car brand to break even next year, according to the carmaker's finance chief." We will reach the breakeven mark at Smart in 2007," Daimler CFO Bodo Uebber told journalists late on Monday, March 20, in remarks embargoed for release on Tuesday. Smart has not made a profit since the brand made its debut in October 1998 with the quirky two-seat model that remains its best seller. But it has slashed staff, costs and its planned model lineup in a drive to end the losses by next year. Daimler has said Smart's operating loss narrowed in 2005 from a deficit of around 600 million euros ($730.8 million) in 2004, without being more specific.
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