The Chrysler Group announced thatproduction of the all-new 2004 Chrysler Crossfire is underway. ChryslerGroup Chief Operating Officer Wolfgang Bernhard marked the occasion bydriving the first Chrysler Crossfire off the assembly line in Germany.Members of the Crossfire engineering team were also on hand to celebratethe occasion.According to the company, the Crossfire is being built in Osnabrueck, Germany in conjunction withKarmann, a long-time DaimlerChrysler partner with more than 100 years ofmanufacturing experience. Founded in 1901, Karmann is a full-service supplier to the automotive industry."Today, we celebrate the production launch of the Chrysler Crossfire, avehicle that combines stunning American design with proven Germanengineering," said Wolfgang Bernhard. "In just twenty-four months, thisvehicle went from a pure concept to the vehicle we are building today,because of the dedicated efforts at DaimlerChrysler to find the bestsynergies for all of our products."Chrysler Crossfire was developed after a concept version of the car wasrevealed at the 2001 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Aproduction version was unveiled one year later at the 2002 Los Angeles AutoShow. Chrysler Group said it accelerated the speed to market due to the expertise of theCrossfire team and its ability to preserve key aspects of the conceptvehicle, while identifying Mercedes-Benz components to be used inproduction. For example, the design, wheel base and center exhaustsystem were maintained from the original Crossfire concept, and powertrainand axle components are shared from Mercedes-Benz.The 2004 Chrysler Crossfire is a low-slung, two seat sports coupe with asculptured appearance. Under its hood is a 3.2-liter 90-degree V-6,18-valve SOHC engine available with a six-speed manual or five-speedautomotive transmission."The Crossfire represents the future of the Chrysler Brand, with provenquality and technology packaged in a stunning wrapper," stated Bernhard.Chrysler Group has the capacity to build approximately 20,000 units, ofwhich 15 percent will be earmarked for international markets. The Company said itexpects to produce 11,000 units this year. Chrysler Crossfire will beavailable mid-summer 2003.