Smart GmbH, the minicar-making subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler AG, is to expand
output at its plant in the French city of Hambach, according to Automotive News

The motor industry newspaper said the company would invest €100 million
($US84.4 million) to boost output at the plant to build the 2004 model year
Smart roadster, which should be launched in 2003.

The new investment comes on top of €400 million ($US337.4 million) invested
to make the first 250,000 cars, the report added.

Smart reportedly plans to hire 300 more employees to make the roadster. About
1,900 people already work at the factory.

Worldwide Smart sales rose five percent to almost 11,300 cars in May, Automotive
News Europe said, adding that the company has increased sales 16 percent in
the first five months of this year to 46,800.

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