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Toll Collect Debacle Could Hurt Daimler Profit

DaimlerChrysler executives told shareholders that the collapse of the Toll Collect agreement with the German government could dampen profit expectations in 2004. DaimlerChrysler is part of a consortium of big-name companies working on the high-tech system to collect truck tolls on German motorways. The German Transportation Ministry canceled the contract on Tuesday, after the companies failed over months to come up with a viable system. The company said it had already written off the €250 million ($316 million) it had invested in the system and put an additional €100 million on reserve. But a complete collapse of the agreement could mean a financial loss to the company beyond their reserves. DaimlerChrysler CEO Jürgen Schrempp said he was confident a deal could still be reached.