• Smart’s arrival in the USA will be decide this mounth


DaimlerChrysler AG will decide this mounth whether to introduce Smart — an ultra-compact car that is popular in Europe — to the United States.

Dieter Zetsche, DaimlerChrysler’s chief executive, said the production technology is ready. He announced the pending decision Wednesday in Portland, as the company celebrated the 25th anniversary of its acquisition of heavy truck maker Freightliner LLC.

So far, DaimlerChrysler has restructured the unit, laying off hundreds of workers and canceling production of two of its models. Smart produced 124,300 cars last year, fewer than it made in 2004. However, its sales rose slightly, from 139,000 to 143,000.

Zetsche said he is optimistic the Smart GmbH unit, part of the struggling Mercedes Car Group, would return to profitability in 2007.

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