Daimler AG

Unprecedented Global Demand for Chrysler PT Cruiser Accelerates Availability: DaimlerChrysler Adds Second Production Site

    Auburn Hills, Mich. (ots-PRNewswire) - In response to unprecedented worldwide demand for the new Chrysler PT Cruiser, DaimlerChrysler Corporation will supplement production of its all new, segment-defining vehicle, using its Eurostar facility in Graz, Austria to produce European and rest-of-world versions. Eurostar joins the Toluca Assembly Plant in Toluca, Mexico, as the second DaimlerChrysler facility to produce the PT Cruiser.

    "The arrival of the Chrysler PT Cruiser has again demonstrated that DaimlerChrysler knows very well how to re-write the rules in today's incredibly competitive automotive industry. In literally inventing a new segment with the PT Cruiser, which is 'too cool to categorize', we see the overwhelming opportunity to give our customers more of what they want with less wait," said Jim Holden, DaimlerChrysler Corporation President. "The PT Cruiser will take the Chrysler brand to the next level in Europe, where it is already sold out for the first year allocation. In addition, this incremental gain in production volume will allow more PT Cruisers to be sold in the North American market."

    Since the debut of the Chrysler PT Cruiser in January 1999, DaimlerChrysler has received more than 300,000 requests for information about the vehicle, and has taken numerous orders. The additional production volume at Eurostar will help satisfy demand in Europe and rest-of-world markets, which will allow the company to allocate more vehicles to the U.S., where demand is the strongest.

    The Toluca Assembly Plant is currently ramping up production of the Chrysler PT Cruiser to about 180,000 units annually, all of which can now be allocated to support NAFTA demand.

    The Eurostar facility, which also produces the Chrysler Voyager for Europe and international markets, has the capacity and flexibility to add about 50,000 left and right-hand drive versions of the Chrysler PT Cruiser annually for Europe, Asia and rest-of-world markets, for a total of 230,000 units worldwide. Chrysler PT Cruiser production will begin there in the summer of 2001. Chrysler Austria and Eurostar have been in operation for about ten years.

    "Eurostar has the capacity, track-record and location to best support Europe and rest-of-world markets with the PT Cruiser," said Gary Henson, Executive Vice President of Manufacturing for DaimlerChrysler Corporation. "In order to react quickly to the demands of our customers, we need the ability to maximize opportunity among our worldwide operations."

    Even though DaimlerChrysler's worldwide manufacturing operations are running at nearly full capacity, the company's operations are flexible enough to shift production to meet the demands of the market. In order to add capacity for the PT Cruiser in Toluca and further maximize U.S. production, the company last year shifted Neon production from Toluca to Belvidere, Illinois, and is in the process of shifting the new 2001 Chrysler Sebring Convertible from Toluca to Sterling Heights, Michigan, which will begin ramping up this summer.

    Adjacent to the Eurostar plant is the Steyr-Daimler-Puch plant, which produces European versions of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Mercedes-Benz M-Class, as well as the Mercedes-Benz E4Matic, Mercedes-Benz G-Class and Unimog. It is unaffected by the addition of PT Cruiser production at Eurostar.

ots Original Text Service: DaimlerChrysler Corporation Internet: http://recherche.newsaktuell.de

Contact: Trevor Hale, (USA) 248-512-2660, or Juergen Wittmann, (USA) 248-512-2698, both of DaimlerChrysler

Web site: http://www.media.daimlerchrysler.com

Original-Content von: Daimler AG, übermittelt durch news aktuell

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