Car Company Launches Cross-Country Weekend Driving Adventure

Route 2003: An American Road Trip Kicks Off 12-City Tour in April

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., March 28 -- Thousands of consumers across the United States will have the opportunity to test-drive the entire line-up of Chrysler, Jeep(R) and Dodge vehicles during "Route 2003: An American Road Trip."

The national tour begins in Raleigh, N.C., April 12-13, and includes an additional 11 cities with the final tour stop in Houston, Tex., in September. Each two-day weekend (Saturday and Sunday) event is open to the public free of charge.

Route 2003 enables consumers to experience first-hand five specially designed on- and off-road driving courses. The event is divided into three driving programs called "Chrysler Proving Grounds," "Jeep 101," and "Dodge City." Each driving program conveys safety and education messages to the consumers in an interactive and entertaining environment.

"Route 2003 combines elements of an auto show with on-road driving courses and an off-road driving school," said Lou Bitonti, Senior Manager, Brand Events, Chrysler Group. "This is a great way to have prospective customers experience our vehicles while presenting them in an entertaining and educational environment."

In addition to the 120 Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles for the public to drive, Route 2003 features a number of interactive displays and lifestyle activities spread out over 20 acres. Attendees can register to win a number of sweepstakes and prizes, including tickets to see Celine Dion in Las Vegas, attend Camp Jeep 2004, and a chance to experience the 2004 Daytona 500.

Hours for the Route 2003 event in each city will be 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Sunday. Drivers must be 18 years or older with a valid driver's license to participate in the ride-and-drive activities.

"We offer everyone an opportunity to test the performance of our full line of Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles in a non-sales environment that is both fun and informative," said George Murphy, Senior Vice President, Global Brand Marketing, DaimlerChrysler. "With 200 vehicles, everyone in attendance will be able to sit behind the wheel of their dream car."

The three driving programs featured on the Route 2003 tour are:

* Chrysler Proving Grounds, featuring many of the Chrysler brand vehicles, including the new 2004 Chrysler Pacifica and Chrysler Crossfire. Attendees also will have the opportunity to drive the Chrysler PT Turbo on a drag strip. Additional activities include golf driving cages, a putt-putt course for kids, a "stuff the PT Cruiser" contest and a PT Cruiser photo opportunity.

* Jeep 101, featuring the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Liberty, Wrangler and Wrangler Rubicon off-road. Once attendees have completed an adventurous Jeep 101 driving course complete with downhill grades and log crossings, they can participate in other Jeep activities, including a Jeep mountain bike course, rock-climbing wall and a Jeep Fisher-Price(R) test track for kids.

* Dodge City, featuring an on- and off-road course for Dodge cars and trucks. Participants will be able to experience the Dodge Ram Heavy Duty, Motor Trend's "Truck of the Year," as well as other Dodge vehicles including the Neon, Intrepid and Stratus. In addition, drivers will be able to time their tire-changing skills in the NASCAR Pit Crew Challenge and have their picture taken with a NASCAR Intrepid. Children can also take a spin on a Dodge Fisher-Price test track.

For more information, people can call 1-866-ROUTE-03 or visit any of the three brand websites ( , or ) for registration information. A complete list of tour dates and cities will be announced separately.

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