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Blowing smoke: DaimlerChryler boss Bob Eaton with PT Cruiser models.

Chrysler in Australia will be celebrating the parent company's decision to price the PT Cruiser at $US16,000

12 Jan 2000

DAIMLERCHRYSLER has announced pricing for the radical looking PT Cruiser people-mover, which is due to go on sale in the US within weeks and Australia before the middle of the year.

The standard PT cruiser will cost American buyers just $US16,000, including a US-wide delivery charge of $550.

The up-spec Limited version will cost $US19,990.

While the price Australians pay is not a direct currency translation, the US price indicates Chrysler Jeep in Australia should be able to wheel the PT Cruiser into showrooms for well under $30,000.

This will give the vehicle the chance to take on other small people- movers due to flood the Australian market this year. The competition includes the Premacy from Mazda, the Kia Carens, the Daewoo Tacuma and Hyundai Trajet.

"When we first revealed the Chrysler PT Cruiser, people could not believe we were going to produce it," DaimlerChrysler chairman Mr Robert J. Eaton said at the Detroit motor show.

"Not only are we producing a vehicle that combines functionality and efficiency in a distinctly American design, but we're also keeping the price well under $20,000 as we originally said. There is not a cooler truck or car available anywhere for the price." The Chrysler PT Cruiser is powered by a 2.4-litre, DOHC 16-valve, four-cylinder engine rated at 112kW at 5600rpm and 220Nm of torque at 4000rpm. The standard model includes a five-speed manual gearbox or an optional four-speed automatic.

Features on the standard Chrysler PT Cruiser include driver and front- passenger airbags, air-conditioning, radio/cassette player and six premium speakers, power driver and front passenger one-touch down windows, a 65/35 split rear seat that can be folded, tumbled or removed, multi-position rear shelf panel, height-adjustable steering column, centre rear shoulder belt and user-ready child seat restraint anchorage system.

A few features on the Chrysler PT Cruiser Limited Edition include Touring Suspension, leather front seats, fog lamps, chrome exhaust tip, supplemental seat-mounted side airbags for front occupants, overhead console, power moon roof, speed control, fold-flat front passenger seat, power heated fold-away mirrors, theft deterrent system, remote keyless entry, power door locks, security alarm system and 16-inch chrome plated aluminium wheels.

"The PT Cruiser will serve as a beacon for the Chrysler brand without regard to gender, age, education or income," said Mr Martin R. Levine, vice-president, Chrysler/Plymouth/Jeep Division.

The PT Cruiser goes into production at DaimlerChrysler's Toluca Assembly Plant in Mexico in the first quarter of 2000.

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