Chrysler to Drop Top on PT Cruiser

Diskutiere Chrysler to Drop Top on PT Cruiser im Alle Chrysler-Modelle Forum im Bereich Archiv; Fun-in-the-sun Soft Top Will Mark Another New Addition to the Chrysler PT Cruiser Lineup GENEVA, March 6 -- Chrysler will pull back the...

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    Fun-in-the-sun Soft Top Will Mark Another New Addition
    to the Chrysler PT Cruiser Lineup

    GENEVA, March 6 -- Chrysler will pull back the top
    and crank out yet another version of its segment-busting PT Cruiser. Today in
    Geneva, Switzerland, the Chrysler Group announced it will build a production
    version of its Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible Styling Study.

    The production version of the two-door, four-seater Chrysler PT Cruiser
    Convertible (Cabrio in Europe) will be revealed at a later date and debut in
    showrooms in early 2004. First revealed at the 2001 New York Auto Show, the
    Convertible Styling Study was praised for its open-air, free-spirited design.

    "We were overwhelmed by the positive consumer and media response when we
    took the wraps off the original Convertible Styling Study," said Dieter
    Zetsche, Chrysler Group President and CEO. "In fact, an Internet poll taken
    immediately after the unveiling showed that almost 90 percent loved the
    vehicle and begged us to build it."

    Personalization Comes to the Drop-top Market
    The new Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible will be yet another innovative
    variation of the Chrysler brand's original segment buster, which began
    production just two years ago. It joins a running list of specialty versions,
    such as the Flame vehicles, Woodies, and Dream Cruiser (Street Cruiser in
    Europe) Series limited editions in North America, as well as a broad range of
    engine models for the European market.

    "Personalization is what the Chrysler PT Cruiser's all about," said Tom
    Marinelli, Vice President-Chrysler/Jeep(R) Global Brand Center. "Whether it's
    a hot rod flames look, a woodgrain surf wagon or an Inca Gold Dream Cruiser,
    we're giving our customers the opportunity to put a unique signature on their
    PT Cruiser," said Marinelli. "And now with the PT Cruiser Convertible, we'll
    give them the chance to add a little bit of sunshine to their personal
    transportation."

    Segment Buster to Cruise into Convertible Market
    "In the United States, we already have 15 percent of the convertible pie
    with the Chrysler Sebring Convertible, and the Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible
    will further expand our reach in this part of the market," added Marinelli.
    "This is uncharted territory in the convertible segment. No one else can
    offer cool PT Cruiser styling with the utility and flexibility to change from
    a four-seater to a two-seater with unexpected cargo volume. This is yet
    another segment buster that we anticipate will do well in the convertible
    market."

    In Western Europe, the convertible segment has grown in the past four
    years, with more than 150,000 units sold in 2001. Since it became available
    in the region, more than 39,000 Chrysler PT Cruiser vehicles have been sold in
    Western Europe. Within that region, Germany is the market leader, with 10,700
    units sold.

    "We want to take advantage of this growing market by expanding our
    Chrysler PT Cruiser family to now offer the PT Cruiser Cabrio," said Thomas
    Hausch, Executive Director of International Sales and Marketing, Chrysler
    Group.

    European dealers currently offer three engine options for the Chrysler PT
    Cruiser, including a Mercedes-Benz-derived 2.2-liter common rail turbo diesel
    engine, and will introduce the limited-edition Street Cruiser this summer.

    "Announcing production of the Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible demonstrates
    yet again the company's dedication to bringing great new products to our
    customers," said Zetsche. "This is further proof that we are, and will
    continue to be, aggressive in our product offensive, not only with the
    Chrysler PT Cruiser, but with all of our products across all of our brands."

    Production of the Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible is scheduled to begin in
    the first quarter of 2004 at the Toluca Assembly Plant in Mexico.

    Chrysler PT Cruiser, Brand Sales
    Last year, more than 157,000 Chrysler PT Cruisers were sold in North
    America, with another 31,000 units sold internationally. Since its production
    launch in February 2000, more than 310,000 Chrysler PT Cruiser vehicles have
    been sold worldwide, with more than 47,000 of those sales in international
    markets.

    Chrysler brand sales in the United States have increased 270 percent since
    1991 (from 130,000 to 484,000 units), more than any other American automotive
    brand. In addition, the Chrysler brand has nearly tripled its U.S. market
    share (from 1.0 percent to 2.7 percent) in the same time period. Finally, the
    Chrysler brand has moved to seventh place from 17th place in first-choice
    preference over the past four years -- by far the most dramatic improvement of
    any other brand in the United States.

    Since the introduction of the Chrysler PT Cruiser in 2000, the Chrysler
    brand has continued to gain momentum in Europe, with a ten percent increase in
    sales (from 70,600 units in 2000 to 77,500 units in 2001).
     
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Chrysler to Drop Top on PT Cruiser

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