Daimler sticks to R&D investment plan -paper

FRANKFURT Sat Dec 27, 2008 7:43am EST

FRANKFURT Dec 27 (Reuters) - Daimler (DAIGn.DE) will stick to its plan to invest about 14 billion euros ($19.58 billion) in research and development by 2010 despite the financial crisis, its head of R&D told German newspaper Automobilwoche.

"We will stick to this dimension despite difficult times. But I don't rule out small adjustments," the paper quoted Daimler's head of research and development, Thomas Weber, as saying on Saturday.

Daimler had announced such investment plans in April to prepare for stricter emission regulations.

Weber also said Daimler would roll out an M-Class full hybrid later this year as planned, capable of driving only on electricity under certain conditions, similar to the Toyota Prius (7203.T).

"Based on existing supply contracts for system components we expect to launch the vehicle as planned," he told the paper. (Reporting by Eva Kuehnen; Editing by Ron Askew)