USA: DaimlerChrysler 'may miss targets' - AP
DaimlerChrysler AG may not achieve its financial targets for this year due to high marketing costs in the United States and a deterioration of truck sales amid the economic downturn according to comments by the company's chief financial officer reported by AP.
However, the AP report goes on to say that Chrysler Group president and CEO Dieter Zetsche repeated the outlook view expressed previously that the Chrysler arm of DaimlerChrysler AG is sticking to its target of breaking even this year and will post a loss for 2001 at the smaller end of its forecasts.
Speaking to financial analysts in conjunction with the North American International Auto Show, DaimlerChrysler CFO Manfred Gentz said the change in economic conditions would cause the company to post an operating profit for 2001 of about 1.2 billion euros ($1.07 billion).
In February, the group set an operating loss target range of $US2 billion to $2.5 billion (2.2 billion to 2.6 billion euros) for 2001 as part of a restructuring plan aimed at returning to break-even this year and posting a significant rise in profits in 2003.
For the first three quarters of 2001, Chrysler posted an operating loss of $1.7 billion (1.8 billion euros).
"We will be within the committed range and toward the better end of the range (for 2001)," Zetsche said of the Chrysler earnings outlook at a press briefing on the first day of the North American International Auto Show.
The turnaround plan assumed Chrysler would maintain about 14 percent of the U.S. market, estimated at about 16 million vehicle sales a year. Last year, sales hit 17.1 million vehicles, but Chrysler's market share fell to 13.2 percent as the company's sales declined 11 percent.