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DaimlerChrysler says buyout offer eliminated 9,300 Mercedes jobs

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DaimlerChrysler said Tuesday its effort to trim jobs at its Mercedes Car Group has been more successful than planned, with 9,300 workers taking early retirement or buyouts.

Guenther Fleig, who oversees human resources, also told reporters that the cost to the company for trimming the positions was smaller than expected.

DaimlerChrysler had said it would cost 950 million euros (US$1.2 billion) to cut an expected 8,500 jobs, but Fleig said the actual cost of the cuts now made would be 840 million euros ($1.06 billion).

The Mercedes Car Group, which makes the marquee Mercedes-Benz line of cars and includes the ultracompact unit Smart, was hit last year by a 1.3 million vehicle recall, and by a major restructuring of Smart.

Job cuts were announced in a bid to rein in costs and make the company leaner in the face of competition from Asian automakers, among others.

Last week, DaimlerChrysler reported third-quarter earnings of 541 million euros ($686 million) for the July-September period, down 37 percent from a profit of 855 million euros a year earlier.

While results lagged at Chrysler _ hampered, like its U.S. rivals, by difficult market conditions _ the automaker saw strength at Mercedes, where operating profit more than doubled to 991 million euros ($1.3 billion).

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DaimlerChrysler says buyout offer eliminated 9,300 Mercedes jobs
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