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Business

DaimlerChrysler to Cut Jobs at Smart

German-US auto maker DaimlerChrysler disclosed Friday it would cut jobs at its troubled ultra-small car division Smart under restructuring plans designed to allow the subsidiary to break even in 2007. The division's works committee later said 700 jobs would be slashed in the immediate future, with another 300 to be cut over the long term. "The new business model aims to put the small-car brand onto a financially sound basis, with the goal of breaking even in 2007," DaimlerChrysler said in a statement to the stock market. "The program also includes significant workforce reductions," the statement added, without giving any figures for job losses. It said the Smart management "aims to achieve these reductions in a socially acceptable manner." Smart employs 1,300 people at its main factory in Böblingen near Stuttgart in southern Germany and a further 850 employees work at its site in Hambach, eastern France. The Smart division lost 400 million euros ($519 million) last year according to company sources, forcing a rethink of its strategy.

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