Production of Chrysler minivans for Europe may be shifted to the U.S. to utilise surplus assembly capacity there and allow more PT Cruisers to be made.

Current plans call for 45,000 export specification PT Cruisers to be made each year at Chrysler's assembly plant in Graz, Austria, beginning next May. But sources say that Graz minivan assembly for Europe and right hand drive export markets could be moved to the U.S., taking up spare capacity there, boosting Austrian PT Cruiser capacity to 100,000.

That would allow all 180,000 per year from the Mexican Chrysler plant at Toluca to be sold in the U.S. while export production is concentrated in Austria.

The move is expected to be announced in February as part of Chrysler's restructuring exercise.