DaimlerChrysler’s painful restructuring of its American unit appears to be paying dividends, as the German/US car giant swung into the black in 2002.

Net income for the fourth quarter stood at €168 million ($182m; £111m), up from a €39m deficit in Q4 2001. This brought total 2002 profits to €4.72 billion (boosted by exceptional gains of around $1bn), compared with 2001 losses of €662m (hit by exceptional charges of $2.6bn).

DaimlerChrysler’s full-year revenues dipped by 2% to €149.6bn, though when adjusted for exchange rate fluctuations and changes in the group’s structure this turns into a 1.6% increase. Operating profits excluding one-time gains jumped from €1.3bn in 2001 to €5.8bn.

Analysts welcomed the turnaround at the American Chrysler Group unit, where costs have been slashed, 26,000 employees laid off and six factories closed.

However, maintaining the momentum at Chrysler – which boosted Q4 figures with generous sales incentives – will be tricky as war fears and the soft economy threaten to hit consumer spending. Figures out earlier this week showed the unit’s January sales were down 12% year-on-year [WAMN: 04-Feb-03].

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff