Chrysler Launches European Production
of Chrysler 300C at Magna Steyr in Austria

Chrysler 300C production is underway in Graz, Austria

17th June, 2005

  • Chrysler 300C Sedan and Touring models will be produced for Europe and other world markets
  • Manufacturing flexibility allows for five-plus models on production line
  • Third shift added and 600 new employees hired to build 300C family
  • Added investment and well-trained workforce maintain high quality standards

The first European-built Chrysler 300C rolled off the assembly line on Wednesday as production officially began at Magna Steyr’s manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria.  The 300C Sedan and Touring models are now assembled on the same Chrysler Group production line that currently builds the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Chrysler Voyager and the Chrysler Grand Voyager.

DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler Group and Magna Steyr invested €Euros 30.7 million ($37.2 million) to add the necessary tooling and body shop stations required to bring the Chrysler 300C models on board.  This is in addition to recent enhancements to the plant’s body and paint shops, plus significant production line flexibility improvements that were made with the inclusion of the new vehicles in mind.

Incorporating a third shift, the Chrysler 300C Sedan and Touring will be built in the same body shop as the Jeep Grand Cherokee.  All Chrysler Group vehicles at the plant will share the same trim, chassis and final lines.  About 2,000 employees will work on production of Chrysler and Jeep vehicles, 600 of whom were hired additionally for the 300C vehicles.  All of the plant’s employees have been carefully trained to work with the new 300C-related equipment and processes, ensuring a smooth transition and consistent production quality from the start. 

"The introduction of the Chrysler 300C Sedan and Touring in markets outside of North America has been met with strong, positive customer response," said Dieter Zetsche, Chrysler Group President and Chief Executive Officer.  "The production launch at Magna Steyr will allow us to have 300C vehicles on the ground quickly to meet growing international demand for one of our most award-winning vehicles."


Flexible Production Allows for Multiple Models
DaimlerChrysler Management Austria (DCMA) worked closely with Magna Steyr in the preparation of their facility for the Chrysler 300C family.  Most notably, the addition of the 300C range was already planned for when the plant went through an eight-week tooling, equipment and manufacturing process changeover at the end of 2004 and into 2005.

The body shop was completely rebuilt, and 75 percent of the conveyor line and marriage system was replaced.  As a result, the flexible production line is now equipped to build multiple Chrysler Group models, while simultaneously piloting an additional model.  This exemplifies Chrysler Group’s lean, flexible manufacturing principles being implemented across its production facilities.

"By adding manufacturing flexibility, we are now better equipped to react to the changing landscape of customers’ vehicle needs.  Even with five Chrysler Group models in concurrent production, our employees continue to build in consistent quality with each vehicle that rolls off the line," said Manfred Remmel, President and CEO of Magna Steyr.

Magna Steyr will assemble the various offerings of the Chrysler 300C Sedan and Touring, including: left- and right-hand drive versions; rear-wheel and, for the Touring, all-wheel drive versions; a high-performance version -- the SRT8; and a diesel-powered model that will launch in late 2005.

The Chrysler 300C family solidifies the brand’s presence in over 100 markets worldwide.  It offers customers expressive Chrysler design and personality, an all-new platform with world-class, rear-wheel and all-wheel drive technology, and exceptional interior driver and passenger space.
In Europe and other markets outside of North America, the Chrysler 300C currently offers a range of three petrol engines.  The 2.7-litre V-6 petrol engine provides an outstanding combination of performance, fuel economy, quietness and durability.  The 3.5-litre V-6 unit delivers higher output, still with a perfect blend of performance and economy.  For the ultimate in performance, customers can choose the 5.7-litre V-8 engine with Multi-Displacement System (MDS) for improved fuel economy.

Magna Steyr is the exclusive production site for Chrysler 300C right-hand drive models and will be for diesel-engine models.  Chrysler Group vehicles have been built in Graz for the past 15 years, with Chrysler Voyager since 1992 and Jeep Grand Cherokee since 1994.  Throughout the years of cooperation, some 850,000 Chrysler and Jeep vehicles have been assembled in Graz.

The Chrysler 300/300C is also produced at the Brampton Assembly Plant in Ontario, Canada.

The 300C will be launched locally in November this year.

2006 Chrysler 300C SRT-8
There is still no decision on Australian availability
of the 2006 Chrysler 300C SRT-8, but the Next Car Editor
is expecting this performance car to be available locally in 2006.

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