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Chrysler-Jeep dealers to add Dodge brand

At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Dieter Zetsche, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Chrysler Group, confirmed that the company's longest established automotive brand will be introduced to markets worldwide. The Dodge brand celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, and was the first manufacturer to adopt the Budd pressed-steel unitary body concept for mass production.

“The European launch of the Dodge Viper SRT-10 sports car in 2004 will lead the way, followed by a portfolio of new international Dodge passenger cars starting in 2006,” said Zetsche. “Our focus outside North America will be on passenger cars, even though in the U.S. the Dodge brand is often associated with pickup trucks, SUVs and minivans," said Joe Eberhardt, Executive Vice President for Global Sales, Marketing and Service. The new Dodge models, combined with planned Chrysler and Jeep new product launches, will more than double the number of Chrysler Group vehicles available outside North America in the next four years. The number of right-hand drive and diesel-equipped models will also more than double in that period. The portfolio of Dodge cars will be sold alongside Chrysler and Jeep products in most of the existing dealer outlets. A recent new corporate identity program for Chrysler and Jeep® dealers internationally, anticipated the arrival of Dodge and calls for the exterior and interior of the showrooms to be designed with the flexibility to incorporate the third brand in a cost-effective and modular way. With the international introduction of new Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep vehicles, the company expects its market share in Western Europe to exceed one per cent by 2007.

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