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That's not an exact translation, but Mercedes boss Eckard Cordes is determined to slash MB's fixed costs to raise the company's profitability. In fact, Herr Cordes vowed to trim another 1b Euros ($1.3b) on top of the previously promised 3b Euros ($4b). Unless employees at the three-pointed star are eating off of gold plates, or Merc is about to return to its disastrous policy of "de-contenting" its cars, it's hard to know where he'll find the savings. (One guess: a lot less German-built Mercs.) Cordes also repeated his committment not to pull the plug on the financially "disastrous" SMART brand.   

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