Chrysler Continues to Struggle

Daimler plans more production cuts.
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DaimlerChrysler (DCX) posted drops in third-quarter earnings and sales, as its Chrysler group unit continues to struggle.

The Stuttgart, Germany-based automaker said net income for the quarter ended Sept. 30 fell to $686 million, or 67 cents a share, from the year-ago $1.09 billion, or $1.07 a share. Revenue dropped 5% on a constant-currency basis to $44.6 billion.

Worldwide vehicle sales dropped 14% from a year ago to 1 million units. Mercedes Group unit sales were flat, but operating profit more than doubled to $1.26 billion. Chrysler group revenue dropped 23% from a year ago to $12 billion as unit sales slid 14%. Chrysler swung to an operating loss of $1.48 billion from the year-ago operating profit of $393 million.

The Chrysler Group will implement further cuts in production volumes during the fourth quarter in order to reduce dealer inventories and clear the way for the current product offensive. DaimlerChrysler expects the division to post a loss of approximately $1.3 billion for full-year 2006.

DaimlerChrysler maintained its Sept. 15 full-year operating-profit target of $6.3 billion despite recent reversals at shareholding Airbus. Revenue is expected to rise slightly from last year's $190 billion.