Daimler's Pedal-to-the-Metal Plan

New CEO Dieter Zetsche aims to beat Lexus in quality, make the Smart division profitable, and lift Chrysler's productivity -- and all by 2008

For a man in the top job at the German automaker just six months, DaimlerChrysler chief executive Dieter Zetsche is setting some hard-to-reach targets for himself. By 2008, says Zetsche, in a wide ranging interview with BusinessWeek, Mercedes-Benz will match or beat Lexus in J.D. Power & Associates quality ranking. The beleaguered Smart car division will be profitable. And Chrysler Group's productivity will be ahead of Detroit rivals Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) and be all but tied with Toyota (TM) and Nissan (NSANY).

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.