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.September 17, 2003
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Chrysler Group Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Minivan

Photo: DC
 

Frankfurt - Over the past 20 years, Chrysler's pioneering minivan has been progressively introduced to a growing number of markets outside North America, and it is now sold in approximately 72 countries worldwide.

From countries as far apart as Chile and Japan, Chrysler minivans continue to answer the call for utility, convenience and style.

Although the minivan was first introduced by the former Chrysler Corporation in 1983, it wasn't until 1987 that this new phenomenon, also known as the MPV, or multi-purpose vehicle, began sales in Europe. Chrysler Group has consistently adapted and improved the minivan, further adding to its appeal among customers worldwide.

 

Chrysler Group minivans recently reached a milestone of 10 million units sold worldwide since 1983, and continue to be the top-selling minivan in North America.

"As the minivan was becoming a cultural icon throughout North America in the 1980s, its introduction to the international markets helped to create the segment and to establish the Chrysler brand worldwide," said Thomas Hausch, Executive Director of International Sales and Marketing for Chrysler Group. "Its innovative design and versatility would forever change the mode of transportation."

Diesel-powered minivans were introduced in 1993, aimed particularly at further strengthening the presence of the minivan in Europe, where approximately 70 percent of all Chrysler Group minivans now sold are powered by diesel engines. Setting a new world record for fuel economy in 2000, a Chrysler Voyager SE fitted with a 2.5L common-rail turbo diesel (CRD) engine, traveled 1724 kilometers (1077 miles) on a single tank of diesel fuel.

In 1996, the company introduced right-hand-drive versions, opening up sales opportunities in markets such as the UK, Japan, Australia and South Africa. This successful introduction of the right-hand-drive model led the UK to recording its 30,000th minivan sale in July 2003, less than eight years after its introduction.

To honor the 20th year of Chrysler's minivan leadership, a special 'Anniversary Edition' has been introduced in Europe and other international markets. This special edition offers extra refinements including a leather-wrapped steering wheel and steering wheel radio controls for improved driver convenience.

On the exterior, 'Scorpion' aluminum alloy wheels are added to enhance the expressive look of the vehicle. Anniversary Edition badges are placed on the driver and front passenger doors, and the emblem is also embroidered on the front floor mats.

"We are committed to providing our customers with features that are tailored to meet the needs of international markets, and to ensure that Chrysler minivans continue to shape the segment for 20 years and beyond," added Hausch.

Minivan Market Facts

In terms of total minivans sold in the U.S., the Chrysler Group outsells each of its nearest rivals, General Motors and Ford, by a nearly two-to-one margin, and Honda by three-to-one.

The Chrysler Voyager MPV continues to build upon its popularity in Europe. Minivans are the Chrysler Group's best-selling vehicle outside North America.

Since 1983, the Chrysler Group has sold more than 10 million MPVs worldwide, introduced 50 minivan-first features, and earned more than 150 awards industry-wide.

Voyager Models and Features

In Europe, Chrysler offers two versions of its standard-wheelbase Voyager minivan, the SE and LX. Three versions are available for the extended-wheelbase Grand Voyager minivan: SE, LX and Limited, with an all-wheel-drive Limited model available for left-hand-drive markets.

Chrysler Voyager is equipped with a choice of three different engines: 3.3 V-6 petrol, 2.4 I-4 petrol and 2.5 common-rail turbo diesel (CRD). The 3.3 engine is teamed with an automatic transmission and provides 128 kW (174 hp) of power and 278 N·m of torque. The 2.4 engine is available with an automatic or manual transmission and produces 108 kW (147 hp) of power and 218 N·m of torque. The advanced 2.5 CRD engine offers a manual transmission and features 105 kW (143 hp) of power and 340 N·m of torque.

Chrysler Voyager and Grand Voyager minivans are manufactured in St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Windsor, Ontario, Canada; and Graz, Austria, where all MPVs for Europe are built.

* through June 2003

(Sept. 09, 2003)


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