DaimlerChrysler chief executive Dieter Zetsche has told a German newspaper that it seems likely that Smart cars will be sold in the US.

A final decision will be taken this month, but he said that the replacement model for the Smart ForTwo (the brand's only model now) will meet US technical requirements.

Zetsche also told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sontagszeitung that the Smart organisation is expected to return to profit in 2007. This should be helped by the launch of the new model. Zetsche said preparations in the plant for the new model restricted sales last year.

Zetsche added that production forecasts for the E-Class have been scaled up thanks to a good initial reception of the new model from customers.