AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- After confirming ratification of a third shift agreement at Brampton (Ontario) Assembly Plant, Chrysler Group and Magna Steyr today announced plans to grow their production relationship by forming a manufacturing agreement for the Chrysler 300C Touring and Sedan vehicles for European and rest-of-the-world distribution. Magna Steyr's Graz, Austria facility will add the rear-wheel-drive and all- wheel-drive vehicles to its Chrysler Group production line up that currently includes the Jeep(R) Grand Cherokee and the Chrysler Voyager. "Since the introduction of the Chrysler 300C Touring and Sedan in markets outside of North America, the public response to the vehicles has been greater than we expected. For next year, demand from the markets is far beyond our original projections," said Dieter Zetsche, Chrysler Group President and Chief Executive Officer. "The production launch next year at Magna Steyr will enable us to have 300Cs on the ground quickly to meet growing market demand from a facility that has proven its expertise in building quality vehicles for world markets." Magna Steyr will assemble the various offerings of the Chrysler 300C Touring and Sedan, including: left- and right-hand drive versions; a high- performance version -- the SRT-8; and a diesel-powered model that will launch in late 2005. The vehicles will be assembled in the same facility as the Grand Cherokee and Voyager, showcasing Magna's production flexibility. "Magna Steyr is proud that the Chrysler 300C program will continue and extend our excellent and long-standing partnership," said Manfred Remmel, President and Chief Executive Officer - Magna Steyr. "In doing so, Chrysler Group is building upon Magna Steyr's proven capabilities to support our automotive partners as well as meet the quickly changing market needs in a flexible and competent way." The Brampton (Ontario) Assembly Plant in Canada is currently the only production location for the Chrysler 300 Sedan and Touring and Dodge Magnum, and soon-to-be-launched Dodge Charger. By adding a second production site for the Chrysler 300 family, Chrysler Group will be able to satisfy demand in Europe and rest-of-the-world markets, while not compromising its ability to deliver more vehicles to North America, where demand is the highest. Chrysler Group's manufacturing strategy for its rear-wheel-drive vehicles underscores an ongoing commitment to the implementation of innovative forms of flexibility. Today's announcement demonstrates another example of Business Model Flexibility, which enables the company to start production of the 300C outside North America without tying up additional capital for tooling and equipment. It also minimizes costly issues associated with importing vehicles into various markets worldwide, including distribution. The Chrysler 300 family solidifies the brand presence in over a hundred markets worldwide. It offers customers an expressive Chrysler design and personality, an all-new platform with world-class, rear-wheel and all-wheel drive technology, and exceptional interior driver and passenger space. The 300 series offers the most powerful line of engines in its class, including a fuel-efficient 2.7-liter V-6, 3.5-liter High-Output V-6, culminating in the 5.7 liter HEMI(R) V-8. It also features cylinder deactivation called Multi-Displacement System (MDS), providing the HEMI power customers want with the fuel economy they will appreciate. More than 105,000 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Magnum vehicles have been sold so far this year. The Chrysler 300 commands 40 percent of the Canadian luxury full-size vehicle segment and more than 30 percent of the U.S. luxury full- size car segment, since its introduction. Magna Steyr is a leading engineering and manufacturing partner to the automotive industry's original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The wholly owned group of Magna International Inc. is also the world's leading supplier of OEM contract vehicle assembly. Magna designs, develops and manufactures automotive systems, assemblies, modules and components. It also engineers and assembles complete vehicles for the North American, European, South American and Asian markets. Magna has approximately 81,000 employees in 217 manufacturing operations and 49 product development and engineering centers in 22 countries.
SOURCE Chrysler Group