DETROIT - The Chrysler group plans to introduce a de-contented Pacifica this summer that will retail for less than $30,000, a spokesman says.
Chrysler, which is trying to enhance its near-luxury image while boosting volume, also plans to offer a cheaper version of the PT Cruiser this summer.
The automaker has capacity to build 100,000 Pacificas annually at the Windsor, Ontario, assembly plant. Vehicles arrived at dealerships in March, and through May, Chrysler sold 4,828 Pacificas.
Chrysler expects Pacifica sales to reach 60,000 units this year, increasing to 100,000 units in 2004.
Adding the de-contented Pacifica was not a spontaneous decision, according to Chrysler spokesman Bryan Zvibleman. "This has always been in the launch plan," Zvibleman says.
Production began in February; and in the first 45 days, Chrysler built only all-wheel-drive models. It has since started building front-wheel-drive models, which are $1,750 cheaper. The new de-contented model, which also will have standard fwd, goes into production in August.
Chrysler would not project what percentage of Pacificas sold this year will be the cheaper models.
The base price for the awd Pacifica is $32,980, including $680 destination. Base price for the front-wheel-drive model is $31,230, including $680 destination charge.