The carmaker is collecting names of consumers who respond to an auto show brochure for the retro-looking car, planned as a 2001 model. The process started in recent weeks at the Los Angeles and Detroit shows, and will continue in Chicago and New York, as well as shows and events in other cities, said Jennifer Keegan, VP-Chrysler brand account director at Ross Roy Communications, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
In a first for Chrysler, the carmaker's brochure offers prospects three methods to respond: by business reply card, toll-free number (1-800-4CHRYSLER); or e-mail via the brand's Web site (www.chrysler
The Web site has dedicated pages for the PT Cruiser, said Jay Kuhnie, communications manager for the Chrysler brand, adding, "We'll communicate by mail or e-mail," depending on consumer preference.
The effort "is more interactive than direct," explained Martin Levine, VP-general manager of the Chrysler/Plymouth/Jeep Division.
Ross Roy will make its first direct mail drop for the PT Cruiser in April; five follow-up mailings are planned in the next 13 months, including a thank you letter, Ms. Keegan said.
PT Cruiser prospects aren't being targeted by household income or age because the expected demographic is "attitudinal," Mr. Kuhnie said.
The PT Cruiser's sticker price will be significantly less than $20,000. Chrysler said the car, about the size of a Neon, eventually will be sold in more than 40 markets worldwide.
PT stands for "personal transportation" and reflects the vehicle's code name during development. Chrysler said early consumer research revealed PT Cruiser's emotional appeal will be similar to the limited-production Plymouth Prowler roadster and Dodge Viper.
But unlike the Prowler and Viper, Mr. Levine said, PT Cruiser is functional for