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saw sales and unit volume fall in the first quarter, and said earnings were much lower because of a gain in the year-ago period.

The automaker earned 588 million euros in the latest quarter on sales of 33.7 billion euros, compared with earnings of 2.5 billion euros on sales of 36.9 billion euros last year. Operating profit fell 54% to 1.4 billion euros, and the company sold 1 million cars and trucks in the latest quarter, down from 1.1 million last year.

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At the company's U.S. unit, Chrysler Group, factory shipments fell 8% but the company still managed to turn an operating profit of 152 million euros, compared with a loss of 187 million a year ago.

Looking ahead, DaimlerChrysler expects full year revenue of about 145 billion euros.