Job cuts, people. They're a dirty deed but somebody's got to do it. Dieter Zetsche, the czar of DaimlerChrysler and current puppet master at Mercedes Benz, hinted in an interview yesterday that productivity at the German luxury car maker is a "major issue". He said that a plan would soon be announced that scrutinizes every part of Mercedes, not just its manufacturing plants. The current trend in massive automaker turnarounds seems to be plant closings and the "involuntary separation" of salaried employees, a strategy currently employed by Ford. Perhaps these two companies should consider Nissan's strategy – design more appealing vehicles.

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