Associated Press reports that DaimlerChrysler‘s senior managers met Monday amid new worries about its loss-making US division Chrysler.
The AP report quoted Chrysler spokesman Ken Levy as saying that the meeting of top executives, which came ahead of the Frankfurt International Auto Show, was a regularly scheduled event. According to the AP report, he refused to discuss details and said news reports that fresh restructuring steps would be decided were ‘speculation’.
However, Chrysler’s latest lurch into loss has led to increased speculation that further restructuring measures will become necessary.
DaimlerChrysler CEO Jurgen Schrempp said in this week’s Der SPIEGEL magazine that Chrysler has a ‘difficult task’ to reach its revised target of a small operating profit this year.
However, Chrysler boss Dieter Zetsche played down additional restructuring speculation on Tuesday at IAA.
“We have said we are striving for that target and that there are risks and that is the situation today,” Zetsche told reporters at the Frankfurt auto show.
Zetsche declined to give a forecast for 2004.
He also said there were no immediate plans for radical restructuring measures such as major job cuts at Chrysler.
“There is no plan at this point of time for any outrageous steps beyond the efforts we are making,” he said, though he added that in the current environment he could not exclude further steps in the future.
Chrysler posted a second-quarter operating loss of 948 million euros (Q2 2002: operating profit of 414 million euros) due to lower shipments and increased incentives, including higher provisions for marketing costs related to dealer inventories and for guaranteed residual values. The beleaguered unit has also just said that it will introduce incentives on 2004 model year vehicles.