Thursday, April 13, 2006

Daimler gears up for faster growth

Wednesday, April 12, 2006; Posted: 12:30 p.m. EDT (16:30 GMT)

BERLIN, Germany (AP) -- DaimlerChrysler is poised to raise its profitability through 2006 but will continue to cut jobs as it works to reinvigorate its marquee Mercedes-Benz product lineup, chief executive Dieter Zetsche said Wednesday.

The company also will stick with struggling compact brand Smart, he said.
"We are not satisfied with last year's results," Zetsche told some 8,000 shareholders of the world's fifth-largest automaker at a Berlin convention center. "We can only safeguard the future of our company and the jobs of our workers if we achieve profitable growth."

Zetsche, making his first appearance as CEO at the annual meeting, got a much warmer reception than his predecessor Juergen Schrempp, who was greeted last year with boos amid mounting problems at Mercedes Car Group -- rising losses, a recall and problems with the Smart unit.

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