Troubled car brand Smart could break even for the first time next year, according to its parent company DaimlerChrysler.
The firm, which makes the two-seater Fortwo and larger Forfour, has not made a profit since it launched in 1998. But while DaimlerChrysler declined to reveal its precise financial figures for 2005, it said its losses had 'narrowed' compared to the £420million lost in 2004.
'We will reach the breakeven mark at Smart in 2007,' DaimlerChrysler Chief Financial Officer Bobo Uebber. 'We're examining progress every month, every quarter.'
Smart has slashed jobs and cut back its model plans in a desperate bid to ease financial problems. But sources suggest DaimlerChrysler has decided against selling the firm, at least in the short term.