Daimler annual shareholder meeting set to kick off

BERLIN - Daimler AG hosts its annual shareholder meeting Wednesday with investors, analysts and others looking for hints about the company’s profits, future business and whether it will scale back more production as consumers postpone buying new cars.

By (AP)

Published: Wed 8 Apr 2009, 12:39 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 3:27 AM

Like other German manufacturers in recent months, Stuttgart-based Daimler, whose products include cars under the Mercedes-Benz, Maybach, AMG and Smart brands, along with trucks and buses, reported a slowdown in demand and weaker sales. It has taken measures to scale back its output, including cutting back hours for thousands of workers.

On Tuesday, Daimler said its worldwide first-quarter sales fell about 23 percent with demand for its Mercedes-Benz and ubiquitous two-seat Smart brand slipping.

The company said the group sold 244,800 cars from January-March compared with around 318,000 cars a year earlier.

Daimler has already said it expects to post a first-quarter loss and will put more administrative personnel on shorter hours, reducing their pay.

Daimler said on April 1 that it hoped to save Ð2 billion ($2.7 billion) in personnel costs by cutting work time for 73,000 workers largely office and administrative staff in Germany by as much as five hours a week, but that it did not plan to eliminate jobs.

Those plans are unrelated to the previously announced decision to put some 50,000 automotive production workers on shorter hours. Daimler has said it also plans to put another 18,000 commercial vehicle workers on shorter hours after Easter. German companies often reduce hours worked to scale back output.

Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz cars division had sales of Ð48 billion ($64.3 billion) in 2008, while the company as a whole had sales of Ð96 billion. Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz cars division includes the Mercedes-Benz, Maybach, AMG and Smart brands.

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