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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

DCX / Chrysler
]2005 Chrysler 300C


DCX to build 300C in Europe

Hot demand prompts move that will relieve pressure on Brampton, Ontario, plant.

By Brett Clanton / The Detroit News

DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group will begin building its hot-selling Chrysler 300C sedan in Graz, Austria, early next year, the automaker is expected to announce today.

The move will lighten the load at Chrysler's Brampton, Ontario assembly plant, which has struggled to keep up with blistering demand for the 300, and will give the Auburn Hills automaker a bigger toehold in Western Europe, where it is hoping to grow sales, sources familiar with the plan said.

The 300C and a wagon version known as the 300C Touring, to be sold only overseas, will be produced in an existing DaimlerChrysler plant operated by Magna-Steyr, a unit of Canadian auto supplier Magna International.

Chrysler declined to comment on the announcement.

The automaker wants to increase the Chrysler brand's market share in Western Europe to 1 percent within four years, from 0.7 percent today.

The two-model Chrysler 300 lineup will play a big role in that expansion, with combined annual sales expected to reach 8,000 units in 2005. Chrysler also introduced the Crossfire roadster and PT Cruiser convertible in Europe this year.

The aggressively-styled 300 will stand out in Europe, where small cars and conservative designs predominate, said Jim Sanfilippo, vice president of Warren-based marketing consultant AMCI Inc.

"It's very different from what they currently have in Europe so it will be interesting to see if it captures the imagination of buyers," he said.

Chrysler is also hoping the 300 lineup helps the automaker make inroads in Japan, Russia and Australia.

The 300s made in Austria will be earmarked for international markets, while the Canadian-built models will be sold only in North America.

You can reach Brett Clanton at (313) 222-2612 or [email protected]
 

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If I see one on the bahns here and can snap a pic, I will and post it.
The Germans are nuts over the PT Cruiser and I've recently seen Crossfires all over the place in the Frankfurt area. I think it's because they know Mercedes-Benz has a hand in them somewhere and they're being considered "cheap" (relatively speaking with Euro currency fluctuations in different markets) alternatives to MBs and BMWs.
 

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wait until the SRT-8s start poppin up in Europe :)...
 
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