Plummeting demand for cars and trucks led Daimler AG ( DAI) to a wider-than-expected loss in the first-quarter. The German automaker also said it expects unit sales and revenue to decline "significantly" for the rest of 2009.

In a pre-market press release, Daimler said its earnings before interest and tax, or EBIT, came in at a loss of 1.43 billion euros -- analysts were expecting a 1.08 billion loss -- on revenue of 18.7 billion. In the year-earlier period, the company registered a profit of 1.98 billion on revenue of 24 billion.

The company posted a net loss of 1.29 billion euros, or 1.4 euro per share, compared with net profit a year ago of 1.32 billion.

Unit sales of cars and commercial vehicles plunged 34% to 332,300 from a year ago, and the declines showed no signs of slowing. The company said revenue for the full-year 2009 will likely fall well below 2008's 95.9 billion euro.

To combat weakening revenue, the company hopes to save 4 billion euro in 2009 with a range of cost-saving measures.

Shares of Daimler were trading down 5% on Tuesday morning, at 33.27.
Copyright 2009 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

If you liked this article you might like

Alabama Governor Sees Autos Leading Charge for High Tech Jobs

BMW Closing in on Mercedes' Luxury Auto Sales Lead in the U.S.

The Amazing 45-MPG Mercedes Sedan

Investing in Global Demand for Cars

The Tesla-Based Mercedes (as Seen Through Google Glass)