The top stories from Automotive News Europes March 27, 2000, issue – and how they developed.
Graz gets PT Cruiser
DaimlerChrysler will build the PT Cruiser at its plant in Graz, Austria, starting in summer 2001. The Eurostar factory will make up to 50,000 units of the retro-styled Chrysler model each year.
Magna Steyr, the Austrian unit of supplier Magna International of Canada, bought the Eurostar plant from DaimlerChrysler in 2002. The contract coachbuilder produces cars for D/Cs Chrysler, Jeep and Mercedes-Benz brands as well as Saab and BMW.
Ford buys Land Rover
Land Rover joins Fords Premier Automotive Group. BMW sold the brand to Ford for $2.9 billion. The acquisition of Land Rover takes the pressure off PAG members Jaguar and Volvo to build an SUV.
Despite Land Rovers strong presence in the SUV segments Volvo added the XC90 SUV to its lineup in 2003. Sales in western Europe of the premium SUV jumped 69.9 percent to 30,547 units last year compared with 2003. The high demand forced Volvo increased production of the car from 50,000 to 90,000 units last year.
Moscow show shunned
European, North American and Japanese carmakers plan to withdraw from the Moscow auto show because of poor sales in Russia and the high cost of exhibiting.