Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Chrysler to launch sales of muscled-up Caliber outside of North America

Posted Apr 01, 2008 @ 12:45 PM
BELVIDERE — Chrysler LLC officials this morning announced that dealers will begin selling the muscled-up Dodge Caliber SRT4 in markets outside of North America.

The Caliber SRT4, which is made at the company’s assembly plant in Belvidere, has a six-speed manual transmission and Chrysler’s 2.4-liter turbo world engine, which delivers 285 horsepower. The top speed of the Caliber SRT4 is 155 mph.

Company officials made the announcement this morning in Las Vegas.

SRT stands for Street and Racing Technology. Chrysler has produced SRT versions of several of its models, aiming for a small but affluent group of car buyers who like to modify cars for racing conditions.

The company doesn’t break out sales by styles, so it’s unclear how much the SRT version of the Caliber has added to sales. So far in 2008, the Caliber is one of the few Chrysler vehicles selling better than in 2007.

“The all-new Dodge Caliber SRT4 combines all of the SRT attributes in a package that delivers the most horsepower per Euro among its competitors in typical Dodge style,” Vice President of International Sales Thomas Hausch said in a news release. “The Dodge Caliber was our best-selling vehicle in 2007, and SRT4 will keep that excitement rolling.”

In 2007, international dealers — which Chrysler defines as countries outside of Mexico, Canada and the United States — sold 30,937 Calibers. Overall, dealers sold 157,562 Calibers last year.

Chrysler’s Belvidere assembly plant is the largest manufacturing employer in the Rock River Valley with about 2,500 employees. Workers there assemble the Caliber and the Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot.

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