Daimler: Single and Loving It

CEO Dieter Zetsche predicts that the newly emancipated German automaker will see operating margins hit 10% within three years

After the May sale of its long-ailing Chrysler unit, Germany's DaimlerChrysler (DAI) is back on the road to the kind of lofty earnings befitting a luxury automaker—and could soon overtake rival BMW (BMWG). During a first-half conference call with analysts on Aug. 29, Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said the group's operating margin for 2007 would be significantly better than his 7% target. He predicted it would hit 10% by 2010 at the latest—likely outpacing profit margins at BMW, which hover between 7% and 8%.

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