TOKYO, June 25 (Reuters) -Motors Corp's chief executive, Rolf Eckrodt, said on Tuesday that a five percent operating profit margin was a key target to be met before DaimlerChrysler AG would lift its stake in the Japanese automaker.
DaimlerChrysler has a 37.3 percent holding in Japan's fourth-largest automaker, with an option to raise the stake from October 2003.
"I think the only criteria for a stronger engagement is the success of the company," Eckrodt told Reuters in his first interview after becoming's chief executive earlier on Tuesday.
Asked how he defined success, Eckrodt said a five percent operating margin was crucial.
"For me, it is to gain around about a five percent return on sales in a reasonable time and that's probably the first step," he said. "The rest we will define later on".
Mitsubishi is targeting a margin of 4.5 percent in the next business year beginning April 2003.
Eckrodt said that a level of five percent could come in either 2004/05 or the year after but that a lot would depend on external factors such as the state of the Japanese and U.S. economies.