DaimlerChrysler's first-quarter operating profit was up 16 percent to $3 billion.
Strong results in North America of former Chrysler Corp. brands offset weak results from Asia and South America. Operating profit is income before one-time charges and taxes.
The combined market share of Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth and Jeep in the United States was 16.4 percent in the first quarter, compared with 16.0 percent last year.
Operating profit of the four brands rose 12 percent, to $1.6 billion, and revenue was up 6 percent, to $17.1 billion.
Company revenue was up 10 percent in the first quarter, to $37.8 billion, from $34.4 billion a year ago.
'Basically, we had an excellent first quarter,' said DaimlerChrysler Chairman Robert Eaton. 'It is excellent out there, particularly in the United States.'
Eaton also said:
There will be a significant sales slowdown in Western Europe this year.
Light-vehicle sales in the United States should total 15.7 million this year. With medium and heavy-duty vehicles, the figure will be 16 million.
DaimlerChrysler expects to approve a dividend of about $2.50 per share during the May 18 annual meeting in Stuttgart. It will be paid shortly after the annual meeting.
Despite South America's economic turmoil, the engine joint venture in Brazil with BMW AG is proceeding as planned. The plant will produce four-cylinder engines for both companies.