Fleet News

Geneva Motor Show: Chrysler fights for RHD cabrio

CHRYSLER UK is fighting hard to secure right-hand drive production of the PT Cruiser Convertible (pictured) after the US giant confirmed production of the car.

The two-door convertible looks an attractive and natural extension to the PT Cruiser range, and two of the principal obstacles to its RHD production have now disappeared.

Originally, the convertible was destined to be built in Mexico, while UK RHD models are assembled in Austria. And secondly, the convertible will be powered by a 2.4-litre engine which does not easily allow conversion to RHD.

However, a production switch means Mexico now produces RHD models, and Chrysler UK is confident of selling 2.0-litre versions.

'If we have right-hand drive, 2.0-litre versions coming off the same line as convertible models, there's no reason why we couldn't change the roof arrangements to produce soft-top right-hand drive PT Cruisers,' said Simon Elliott, director of Chrysler Jeep in the UK. He believes the company could sell about 800 models, maintaining momentum behind the model's sales.

Meanwhile, Chrysler Jeep has re-established its 22-strong corporate dealer network, out of 96 dealers, and is actively promoting its products to the corporate sector.

Any retail offers, for example, are also offered to the contract hire sector, and the company is currently supporting service and maintenance costs of the Voyager so long as contract hire companies reflect the support in the maintenance elements of their rates. And despite the high emissions profile of Chrysler and Jeep cars, Elliott sees a significant audience for them in the corporate sector.

'There are still a number of user-choosers who if they are looking for the type of produce we sell, do not have CO2 as their main consideration,' he said.

'But our main corporate sales are to cash-for-car drivers, who previously would not have been able to choose a PT Cruiser, Voyager or Cherokee as part of a fleet scheme.'

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