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Business

DaimlerChrysler CEO Confident of Recovery

DaimlerChrysler chief Jürgen Schrempp on Wednesday defended his global strategy at the company's annual meeting in Berlin, despite critical shareholders and investor complaints over sluggish earnings and financial trouble at Japanese partner, Mitsubishi. "No question - we are not where we want to be," Schrempp said and added, "When it is tough, you can't run away." Schrempp said earlier in the day that first-quarter earnings at the troubled U.S. division Chrysler will continue an upward trend that saw it earn €143 million ($173 million) in the fourth quarter of 2003. Chrysler is trying to recover from an overall €506 million loss last year, due mainly to a disastrous second-quarter loss of €948 million, reflecting heavy price competition in the U.S. market. Schrempp added that a DaimlerChryler troubleshooting team was also looking to cure woes at Mitsubishi, in which the company owns a 37 percent share. There has been speculation that DaimlerChryler and other shareholders might pump large amounts of money into debt-ridden Mitsubishi.