GENEVA -- DaimlerChrysler AG aims to boost operating earnings at its Mercedes arm by $5.29 billion by 2007, more than was announced last month, the group said Thursday.
The higher target was revealed by Mercedes car group chief Eckhard Cordes to analysts attending the Geneva car show, a spokesman said.
"I can confirm it. It is standard for us to set higher internal targets," he said.
The spokesman also confirmed that the group's target was to achieve breakeven at Mercedes' Smart compact car unit in 2007.
Cordes declined to discuss the prospects for Smart with reporters at the car show, pending the outcome of a strategic review to be announced in April.
A collapse in profits at Mercedes led to a slump in fourth-quarter operating earnings at the world's fifth-biggest carmaker, prompting the group to announce a new efficiency drive called CORE on Feb. 10.
DaimlerChrysler said then that CORE should boost earnings at Mercedes by more than $3.94 billion.
The strong euro, model launch costs, increased spending to fix quality problems and losses at Smart slashed operating profit at Mercedes to just $26 million in the fourth quarter of 2004 from $1.03 billion a year earlier.