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2007-07-11 16:12

Wilmer Muller

Cape Town - Chrysler has announced its future plans for the South African market after its recent split with Mercedes-Benz.

At a product launch in Cape Town the American carmaker told the media that a new South African division will start operating in the next few weeks. The local operations will be called Chrysler South Africa.

This comes after Chrysler's recent buyout by Cerberus Capital Management from DaimlerChrysler. However, Mercedes-Benz still has about 20% stake in Chrysler.

The Chrysler groups consist of the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands.

David Elmore, the divisional manager of Chrysler in South Africa, told Wheels24 that the carmaker is very much committed to the country.

He said that consumers won't notice the split from Mercedes-Benz at face-value. The current dealership structures, where the brand shares floor space and logistics with Mercedes, will be unchanged too.

Chrysler will also still operate from the Mercedes headquarters in Pretoria.

Chrysler also earns local export credits as the carmaker uses South African products such as leather and some technical components in its vehicles. Elmore said that under the new management structure these exports might even increase.

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