AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Chrysler Corp. has repurchased its distribution rights in its biggest European market.
Distribution in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands was repurchased from the Dutch importer Louwman group by Chrysler International Corp., the European operation headquartered in Brussels. Chrysler also will take over Louwman's subsidiary, Public Warehouse Europe, in the Netherlands.
Germany has been the leading market in Europe, although Britain was the biggest in May. Distribution in Britain is by a private importer, Chrysler Jeep Imports UK.
Over the past 18 months, Chrysler International has taken back distribution in France, Italy and Austria.
Chrysler wants direct access to major markets as part of its global strategy. Chrysler also has repurchased distribution rights in Brazil, Argentina and Japan since January 1996.
Terms of the agreement were not announced. The deal is expected to be final by year end.
Louwman accounted for almost 30 percent of Chrysler's European sales last year, selling 28,000 cars. The group's four subsidiaries employ 400 and work with 333 dealers. All staff have been transferred to Chrysler.
Chrysler plans to sell 115,000 cars and minivans this year in Europe, up from 102,000 units last year. It wants to sell 200,000 vehicles four years from now.