The celebration came on the heels of a $1 billion joint investment announcement between DaimlerChrysler and its suppliers to modernize and re- tool its Mexican Manufacturing Operations and to create two industrial parks for suppliers.
"This significant manufacturing milestone reflects the global market demand for the Chrysler PT Cruiser," said Ridenour. "The Chrysler PT Cruiser set new world standards with its unique styling and interior roominess. The bottom line is that consumers are demanding more of our remarkable products, and our Toluca Assembly Plant employees played a key role in the success of this vehicle."
Other special guests at today's ceremony included Mexico President Vicente Fox; Joe ChamaSrour, President and Managing Director -- DaimlerChrysler de Mexico; Roberto Gutierrez, DaimlerChrysler Mexico Vice President of Manufacturing; Jose Chaparro, Plant Manager -- Toluca Assembly Plant; Mexico Governor Enrique Pena Nieto; and Hugo Diaz, General Leader -- DaimlerChrysler de Mexico Union.
"Six years ago, DaimlerChrysler launched a whole new generation of segment-busting vehicles when we began building the Chrysler PT Cruiser at this plant," said ChamaSrour. "From the beginning, these vehicles have won wide acclaim from automotive writers and from the global car-buying public. It's unique, it's popular and most of all, it's an important part of the DaimlerChrysler family."
Completely updated for the 2006 model year, the Chrysler PT Cruiser continues to lead the segment in style, versatility, quality and performance. In addition to many exterior upgrades, the 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser and Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible feature all-new interiors, improved performance and a boost of horsepower, giving the available High-Output Turbo engine a power boost for 2006, now rated at 230 horsepower (171.5 kW) and 245 lb.-ft. (332 N*m) of torque, up from the previous 220 horsepower. Chrysler PT Cruiser sales have also seen a boost. Sales of this one-of-a-kind vehicle were up 16 percent in the United Sates for the 2005 calendar year.
Since the launch of the Chrysler PT Cruiser, DaimlerChrysler has received more than 30 international awards for the innovative vehicle.
Awards the vehicle has won include:
* 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser, Consumer Guide, "Best Buy - Compact Cars Category"
* 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser, Consumer Reports, "Recommended"
* 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser, Edmunds.com, "Most Significant"
* 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser, AutoPacific, "Top Vehicle customer satisfaction"
* 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser, North American International Auto Show, "North American Car of the Year"
* 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser, African Americans on Wheels and Latinos on Wheels, "Car of the Year"
* 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser, Strategic Vision, "Compact Car Segment" * 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser, Industrial Design Excellence, "Gold Award" * 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser, Automobile Magazine, "Best Small Car"
The Toluca Assembly Plant is the sole producer of Chrysler PT Cruiser. The vehicle is sold in 60 countries around the world.