DaimlerChrysler will cut MCC Smart fixed costs by 45 percent within the next three years, Chairman Jurgen Schrempp announced at the company's recent results meeting.
'We will critically revise the structures in Renningen [Smart headquarters],' said Jurgen Hubbert, DaimlerChrysler board member responsible for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and Smart, at the same event.
'Smart's organizational structure is vastly oversized. This applies to all areas, including production, sales and development,' he said.
An internal three-year efficiency program, specifically designed for Smart, was incorporated at the beginning of July. It is intended, in combination with the cost reduction program and growth in sales and revenues, to lead to an improvement in financial performance of 30 percent each year.
Despite further investment into developing variants based on the current Smart plus the all-new four-seat/four-door model, due for launch in 2004, Hubbert is confident that the Micro Compact Car business is heading for profitability. But he declined to name a date when Smart would be profitable. D/C sources suggest that Smart's financial figures could start showing a first small profit in 2003 when the Smart roadster and roadster/coupe are launched.