Dieter Zetsche told an extraordinary shareholders meeting in Berlin today that DaimlerChrysler has commenced a share buyback programme as planned, following the disposal of Chrysler.

Up until 30 September, 15.8m shares valued at over a EUR1bn were bought back via the stock exchange. In total Daimler wants to buy back around 10% of outstanding shares valued at EUR7.5bn, according to AFX.

Zetsche also set out plans for the forthcoming year. He expects earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to rise to EUR8.5bn this year. The disposal of Chrysler is expected to have cost Daimler around EUR2.5bn during 2007.

The extraordinary meeting was convened today to approve the change of name of the company to Daimler AG. Zetsche said that DaimlerChrysler had paid Ford $US20m for the rights to the name.