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DaimlerChrysler Sales Gain

DaimlerChrysler's sales for the first two months of this year have risen 6 percent to $21.7 billion (20.2 billion euros, the German-American car giant said Wednesday.

Speaking at the company's annual press briefing, chairman Juergen Schrempp said the group's integration after Daimler's acquisition of Chrysler last year is "right on track." He reiterated that the group still expects to net 1.3 billion euros worth of synergies in 1999.

DaimlerChrysler (DCX) also plans to spend $42 billion (46 billion euros) between 1999 and 2001 on research and development, including third party contracts, and on investment in fixed assets. It's also introducing 34 new cars, light trucks and commercial vehicles over the next three years.

Looking ahead, the company said prospects in North America remain strong, while it sees "good long-term growth potential" in Asia, despite the current economic problems in the region.

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By the year 2001, DaimlerChrysler projects that revenues will grow more than $18 billion (20 billion euros) to 153 billion euros, with all businesses contributing to this growth.

On February 25, DaimlerChrysler reported its first profits for 1998, saying operating profits grew 38 percent to $8 billion (8.6 billion euros).

Written By Suzanne Miller, CBS MarketWatch

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