Not to be outdone by cost-cutting Detroit rivals, DaimlerChrysler (DCX) said it would cut 6,000 administrative jobs in a bid to cut costs by some $1.8 billion a year.

The company said it would spend $2.4 billion between 2006 and 2008 in an effort to focus on core processes and eliminate redundancies. Stuttgart-based Daimler said the program will cut administrative jobs by 20% across the company, including 30% in management. The news comes a day after

Ford

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set its own plan to slash 25,000-30,000 jobs, and

General Motors

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said it would do the same last fall.

"Our objective in taking these actions is to create a lean, agile structure, with streamlined and stable processes that will unleash DaimlerChrysler's full potential," said Chairman Dieter Zetsche. "We're going to build on a strong product portfolio."

Finance and Controlling, Human Resources and Strategy will be centralized to report to the respective head of that function throughout the entire company. Redundancies between staff functions at the corporate and operating levels will be eliminated. A more integrated G&A organization will result in more consistent processes, and reporting and decision-making will become shorter, faster and more efficient.

"We want our divisions to concentrate on the automotive core processes -- development, production and sales," said Zetsche.

Cooperation between the Mercedes Car Group and the Chrysler Group will become markedly closer, according to Zetsche, but "a clear priority within this effort will continue to further strengthen brand identity. You can expect to see more examples of collaboration especially when we can transfer knowledge between the groups, much as Chrysler Group tapped the rear-wheel-drive expertise of Mercedes-Benz in the development of the Chrysler 300C."