Dr Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the DaimlerChrysler board, at the annual meeting in Berlin today, said: "The new management model will make DaimlerChrysler faster, more flexible and more efficient - and therefore more successful.
"One key goal is to make the company's administrative functions leaner. This in turn will make the reporting and decision-making processes faster."
According to Zetsche, these measures will ‘enable operating units to focus on their core business of developing, building and selling fascinating vehicles’.
Executives in Germany will be offered severance agreements and early retirement. Zetsche makes a point of emphasizing that the company's most important capital is its employees. "And we also realize that behind the numbers we are talking about are the lives of real people," he says. "We therefore regard it as our duty to make the necessary personnel cuts fairly."
A more detailed earnings forecast for the full year will be presented to coincide with the publication of the company's financial results for the first quarter on April 27.