DaimlerChrysler's Smart minicar business remains on track to break even in 2007, it reiterated on Tuesday after a magazine report that it could emerge from losses as early as next year.

"We are expecting to reach break even in 2007," a Smart spokesman told Reuters, repeating that the brand was working to cut expenses further after reducing fixed costs at its headquarters by 26% so far.

Focus Money had reported Smart might break even in 2006 after cutting costs this year by around 30%. It lost around €600 million ($US717.2 million) in 2004 but has slashed its workforce and pared down its product lineup.

"We have reduced our losses dramatically and are feeling our way towards zero from below," it quoted Smart brand head Ulrich Walker as saying without giving a time frame to break even.

"I don't have any hints that we will reach it earlier than expected. I only know 2007," the spokesman told Reuters when asked about the report, adding Smart was on the right track to meet its target.

Auto market intelligence
from just-auto

• Auto component fitment forecasts
• OEM & tier 1 profiles & factory finder
• Analysis of 30+ auto technologies & more