Daimler confirms growth plans for 2008 despite difficult conditions

Auto PartsBerlin- Daimler confirmed its targets for growth and a substantial rise in profits for 2008 at the German luxury car and utility vehicle maker's annual general meeting in Berlin Wednesday.

Daimler board chairman Dieter Zetsche pointed, however, to difficulties in the US, the most important foreign market for the company's Mercedes car range.

This resulted from the ongoing financial crisis and from the expected continuing weakness of the dollar over coming months, he said.

"Currently, the economic climate suggests that things will get tougher rather than easier," Zetsche said in remarks released ahead of the AGM.

Key factors were the US credit crisis, the weakness of the dollar against the euro, high raw material costs and the low level of confidence in the US economy.

All business operations were developing well, with key figures "significantly better" than in recent years," Zetsche said.

"We have a clear strategy for sustainable profitable growth," he said.

Zetsche confirmed the company's long-term aim of a return on a turnover of 10 per cent on average by 2010 in the key Mercedes car division.

Daimler Trucks was aiming at 8 per cent, he said.

Business News: