Costs, incentives and energy prices will pressure the Chrysler group in 2006, says DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche.
"Our goal is to keep Chrysler on the path of profitable growth," Zetsche said while announcing 2005 financial results last week.
The Chrysler group posted 2005 operating profits of $1.81 billion, up from about $1.69 billion in 2004. Chrysler's performance helped offset the Mercedes-Benz car group's $598 million operating loss in 2005, compared with operating profits of $1.97 billion in 2004. Parent DaimlerChrysler had net income of $3.37 billion for 2005 on revenue of $177.36 billion. In 2004, DaimlerChrysler earned net income of $2.92 billion on sales of $168.22 billion.
"It is already clear that cost pressures and competition will intensify," Zetsche said, speaking specifically of the Chrysler group.
Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda said that by March 1 Chrysler expects to complete an exchange of financial data with the UAW. That will pave the way for health care concession talks with the union.
Within 30 to 45 days, Chrysler will decide whether to alter health care benefits for salaried retirees, LaSorda said.
Said LaSorda: "We continue to look at the overall fixed costs in the entire company, including that."
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