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Saturday 21 July 2001

The first European-built Chrysler PT Cruisers rolled off the production line this week (Tuesday) at DaimlerChrysler’s Eurostar Assembly Plant in Austria, as the company stepped up production in response to strong global demand.

Chrysler has continued to increase production of the popular, head-turning PT Cruiser since its introduction in early 2000. In April, the company announced it would expand capacity of its Toluca (Mexico) Assembly Plant from 180,000 to 260,000 units a year. Eurostar can produce 50,000 Chrysler PT Cruisers annually, bringing the worldwide capacity to 310,000 units in 2002.

Dieter Zetsche, President and CEO of the Chrysler Group said: "PT Cruiser underlines Chrysler’s commitment to offering unique and innovative alternatives on an international scale, and with the start of PT Cruiser production in Europe, we are further realising the global potential of the brand.

"By continuing to expand PT Cruiser production, we are giving our customers more of what they want – a product that combines unique design, maximum versatility, high quality and a fun driving experience. The additional capacity in Europe will also help us meet the strong demand in North America."

Simon Elliott, Director of Chrysler & Jeep® in the UK said: "We were delighted with the welcome PT Cruiser received last year and the subsequent interest it has generated. Sales of PT Cruiser are good in the UK and there is plenty more to come from this fabulous car."

The flexibility of the Eurostar facility has enabled the company to add the Chrysler PT Cruiser to the same production line as the 2001 Chrysler Voyager MPV, which started production in January. Producing both vehicles on one line will enable the company to easily adjust volumes of either product, depending on customer demand.

The plant held a "Job One" ceremony marking the first day that customer-ready vehicles began rolling off the production line. Eurostar Managing Director Gary Cash was joined by Herbert Paierl, Minister of Economy & Finance, of the state of Steiermark; Alfred Stingl, Mayor of Graz; major suppliers, community leaders and hundreds of employees at the ceremony.

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