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Business

DaimlerChrysler Stands by Smart

German-US auto giant DaimlerChrysler insisted Friday it was standing by its loss-making Smart car unit, a day after the group's chief financial officer caused a ruckus by questioning the future of the trendy ultra-small car. "Abandoning or selling our company is not on the agenda. (DaimlerChrysler chairman) Jürgen Schrempp and (Mercedes Car Group chief) Eckhard Cordes assured me of that in personal talks" on Thursday, Smart car chief Ulrich Walker told employees in a letter, according to AFP news agency. Walker wrote that the company was examining what to do to make Smart more profitable. The unit has never made a profit since its launch in 1998 and losses hurt group-wide earnings in the third quarter.