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DaimlerChrysler cuts 600 staff at Smart

DaimlerChrysler has announced that it will cut approximately 600 jobs at its Smart brand between July 1 and the end of the year, but will attempt to avoid any forced layoffs.

The cuts, part of a €1.2bn (£0.821bn) plan announced in April to restructure the Smart car line, will leave the unit's headquarters in Boeblingen, near Stuttgart, with 760 workers.

The world's fifth-biggest carmaker hopes fixed-cost savings of 30% and a sharpened product focus will boost earnings by €600m (£410.5m) and let Smart break even by 2007.

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