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BERLIN (AP) _ DaimlerChrysler AG said Monday its Smart compact car unit has signed an agreement aimed at allowing a British consortium to produce its discontinued roadster models under a different brand.

A memorandum of understanding signed Friday paves the way for drawing up a contract that would license the Project Kimber consortium to redesign, produce and sell the models, DaimlerChrysler said in a statement.

Smart dropped the roadster and roadster coupe under a restructuring plan announced last year, which also saw plans for an SUV model dropped. Losses at Smart have contributed to wider troubles at DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes Car Group.

Monday's statement said the licensing contract should be drawn up ``within the next few months'' but gave no financial details.

The preliminary agreement also foresees the consortium buying production equipment for the roadsters that Smart no longer needs, it added.

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