Smart car dents DaimlerChrysler
DaimlerChrysler has reported a 30% drop in quarterly profits, hit by losses at the carmaker's Smart minicar business.
The US-German firm, the world's fifth largest carmaker, said its first quarter net profits fell to 288m euros (£195m; $371m) from 412m euros in 2004.
DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes unit, itself beset with quality problems, recently launched a costly restructuring of its troubled Smart car brand.
The group's weaker profits follow similar losses at rival US carmakers.
Earlier this month, Ford reported a 40% fall in its first quarter net profits to $1.21bn, while General Motors - the world's biggest carmaker - unveiled a net loss of $1.1bn in the first three months of 2005.
DaimlerChrysler said its German-based Mercedes division reported an operating loss of 954m euros, from profits at the same time last year of 639m euros, linked to restructuring costs at its Smart car business totalling 800m euros.
The distinctive minicar has consistently lost money since its debut in 1998.
When smart was in development, they were thinking about a process-driven environmental management system. Their system was was certified to DIN EN ISO 14001 in February 1997 at our Böblingen facility. Annual internal and external auditing makes sure this system follows a continuous improvement process.
Smarts are built from pre-assembled modules. It's this modular system that makes dismantling the cars much simpler. And this in turn makes it much easier to strip-out and grade the materials for re-use - so some parts of a smart see the light of day more than once. That's also why we much prefer to use synthetics as they are easier to recycle.
smart GmbH (German parent company) is a 100% owned subsidiary of
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