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Old 10-26-2006, 07:16 PM   #1
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The Chrysler group might be up for sale

Could it Be?
The Chrysler group might be up for sale

By BRADFORD WERNLE | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

AutoWeek | Published 10/26/06, 8:18 am et

Is the Chrysler group for sale? During a presentation to analysts and journalists today, DaimlerChrysler CFO Bodo Uebber refused to rule out the sale or spinoff of its unprofitable Chrysler group.

"We don't exclude anything here," including structural changes, Uebber said during his third-quarter earnings teleconference today. "We will do our analysis. Second, we will talk about measures. And third, we will draw our conclusions."

Asked again whether DaimlerChrysler has put the Chrysler group up for sale, Uebber repeated the same answer without giving a yes or no. "I don't do any speculation," he said.

Chrysler group losses dragged down DaimlerChrysler's third-quarter financial results. The Chrysler group lost $1.47 billion, down from a $393 million profit for the same period a year ago.

The company predicts Chrysler will lose $1.2 billion in 2006. DaimlerChrysler posted quarterly net income of $680 million and projects a companywide operating-profit target of $6.29 billion for the full year.

The Chrysler group's loss overshadowed a rebound at the Mercedes Car Group, whose quarterly operating profit rose to $1.24 billion.

DaimlerChrysler has assigned a team of senior executives to study seven major facets of the Chrysler group's business. The teams have been asked to improve margins by $1,000 per vehicle. Officials declined to give a timetable for the internal study.

Reuters contributed to this report.
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