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Happy Valentine's Day to DaimlerChrysler investors, as the globe-spanning alliance announced just moments ago they saw an operating profit of almost $7.3 billion during 2006, the Mercedes Group leading the way with an operating profit of almost $3.2 billion. Gains were also seen by the Truck side and money side of the big German-American hybrid. In fact, pretty much every team saw a big pop in those operatin' profits. Every group except one — Chrysler Group. Yay, America! The folks in Auburn Hills saw an operating loss of almost $1.5 billion, off from the operating profit of just over $2 billion in 2005. That's a hell of a big swing from year prior and it's got us wondering what the hell's going on at the 'merican side of the cross-Atlantic merger of not-so-equals. Apparently, the same question's being asked atop Chrysler's tower o' power here in Auburn Hills and atop a similar tower in Stuttgart, Germany. That's why today we'll be hearing from the big boss from Deutschland, Dieter Zetsche. Dr. Z's expected to explain away the Chrysler Group's problems as being mainly due to a changed market environment. However, after looking through the copy of his powerpoint presentation, I've realized Dieter's totally not going to be addressing the problem. Instead...
...he's relying on DCX's big bucks bad boy Bodo Uebber to spread some of the bad news. Somewhere in his powerpoint presentation (page 18, to be precise), he's clear there should be an expectation the Chrysler Group'll be spending up to $1.3 billion on "restructuring charges" but the loss in 2007 will be below the levels seen this past year. That means the Chrysler Group's going to be making deep enough cuts and selling enough products to eat that $1.3 billion and still come out better than last year. That's no small hill to climb.