Fleet News

Chrysler expands UK line-up

Chrysler Jeep UK will offer a common rail diesel engine in the PT Cruiser this spring and right-hand drive versions of its new Crossfire Sports Coupe early next year as it bids to improve its appeal to corporate customers.

The early development of the RHD Crossfire serves as testament to the UK's role as Chrysler Jeep's most successful export market.

Last year Chrysler Jeep grew its business by 14% in the UK, following a 20% expansion in 2000, and it is looking for a further 10% growth this year.

Simon Elliott, director of Chrysler Jeep UK, described himself as 'ecstatic' that the 3.2-litre Crossfire will be coming in UK specification.

Speaking at the Detroit Motor Show, he said: 'It could represent about 10% of our sales volumes - about 2,000 units - when we have the full range.'

In the more immediate future, the PT Cruiser gains Mercedes-Benz's 2.2-litre common rail diesel engine in the spring, giving Chrysler by far its lowest carbon dioxide-emitting car in time for the new company car tax system in April.

But Elliott insisted Chrysler Jeep had not suffered despite having a range with relatively high fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. For example, in December alone it sold 450 Grand Cherokees, and the new 2.7-litre CRD diesel engine has given it a more competitive and fuel efficient power plant.

'We are continuing to reinvent Chrysler by filling new niches and with six models in the UK, Crossfire becoming the seventh, we will have the widest range we have ever had,' said Elliott. 'And it is all incremental business for us, giving us the opportunity to grow our franchise.'

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