DETROIT - Chrysler Corp. will pitch in Europe the American style of its new 300M sedan.
'Our position for the 300M is that it is a unique American car that generates emotion, has plenty of space, warmth, and is user-friendly,' said Tom Kowaleski, vice president of marketing and communications at Chrysler Europe SA. 'We'll also market its stress-free performance.'
The 300M will be part of a wave of new American-made luxury cars in Europe this year and next, along with the Cadillac Seville and Lincoln's LS6 and LS8.
The 300M will compete in the mid-luxury segment with such cars as the Mercedes E class, the BMW 5 series and the Audi A6.
In 1997, the segment accounted for sales of 779,000, according to Automotive News Europe.
Chrysler expects to sell about 5,500 300Ms in Europe in 1999.
Kowaleski said that most mid-luxury cars follow a German standard, emphasizing precision, technology and performance.
'We have been trying to strike an American-European balance, and the 300M hits the mark pretty good,' Kowaleski said.
While the advertising will pitch the 300M's American style, the campaign will not forget the tastes of European drivers. The ads will pitch the sedan's speed, fuel economy, ergonomics, maneuverability and braking.
In the United States, the 300M will only be equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6. But Europe will also get a 2.7-liter V-6.
It will be sold mainly in countries where taxes are high on cars with large engines, poor fuel economy or both.
The 3.5-liter V-6 goes on sale in July, followed by the 2.7-liter in the fall. The 300M will sell for about $39,000 in Germany.
The 300M will not be offered with right-hand drive.
'We'd like it,' said Kowaleski. 'But even if we sell 5,000 to 6,000 (300Ms), the numbers can't justify the development cost just for the U.K.'
Chrysler has begun building a prospects list as it exhibits the 300M at European auto shows.
To generate more interest for the 300M, Kowaleski said Chrysler will sponsor European tours of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
Chrysler sold 106,000 vehicles in Europe last year. Half were minivans, 30 percent were Jeeps and 20 percent were cars.