Handelsblatt reports that corrections to forecasts for Chrysler’s performance are behind the recent profit warning issued by DaimlerChrysler.

Almost a year ago, DC set an operating-profit target of 5.5-6.5 billion euros for full-year 2002. But at the start of this month, the group said its operating profit for 2002 would be ‘clearly more than 2.6 billion euros’.

Since then, analysts have been looking for an explanation to this de facto profit warning – especially as the outlook for the trouble Chrysler unit has been relatively upbeat of late.

The German newspaper says that it has learned from people ‘familiar with the situation’ that group chief Jürgen Schrempp had internally been expecting Chrysler to post a profit of ‘hundreds of euros this year’.

However, it seems that Schrempp was, with this forecast, underestimating the demand difficulties on the US car market. But since the forecast was never made public, there was never a need to revise it publicly.

Handelsblatt says that Schrempp’s last public statement on the prospects for Chrysler in 2002 was actually made in February 2001. At that time he said the unit would post a profit of “more than zero”.

DaimlerChrysler’s full figures for 2001 will be released on Wednesday, February 20th.