News of April 25, 2001
Chrysler Group to Increase Production of Chrysler PT Cruiser To Help Meet Demand
2001 PT Cruiser
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - In response to continued worldwide demand for the Chrysler PT Cruiser, the Chrysler Group will again add production for one of its most innovative, segment-defining products by increasing the output of its Toluca Assembly Plant in Mexico by 80,000 units annually.
"The success of the PT Cruiser carries on the Chrysler Group's tradition of inventing -- and leading -- new product segments," said Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chrysler Group President and CEO. "The added production will help close the gap between supply and customer demand for this highly versatile vehicle."
"Among the many scenarios we studied to gain incremental volume of PT Cruiser, this was the best business decision," Zetsche added. "This is another example of our continued investment in innovative products that represent the strength and future of this company."
The company will invest $300 million to increase output by 80,000 units at Toluca beginning in the autumn of 2002. However, North American customers should notice more PT Cruisers at dealerships this summer because all of Toluca's current production capacity of 180,000 vehicles will be allocated to North American markets. The Chrysler PT Cruiser's second production site, the company's Eurostar facility in Graz, Austria, will build 50,000 units for international markets. By the end of 2002, total PT Cruiser production will reach 310,000.
"Toluca is in the best position to increase production to help meet the continued North American demand, while Eurostar will support Europe and other international markets," said Gary Henson, Executive Vice President -- Manufacturing. "In order to react quickly to the demands of our customers, we need the ability to maximize opportunity among our worldwide operations."
Since the market introduction in March 2000, Chrysler has sold more than 175,000 Chrysler PT Cruisers worldwide, and received more than 25 international awards. The vehicle is sold in 58 countries around the world. Chrysler Group announced plans to add Eurostar as a second PT Cruiser production site in March 2000 -- just weeks before the first vehicles arrived to dealerships. The Eurostar facility, which also produces the Chrysler Voyager, is currently building prototype PT Cruisers, as it prepares to launch the vehicle this summer. Work will begin immediately in Toluca in preparation for the autumn 2002 line-speed increase.
(April 23, 2001)