DaimlerChrysler has announced record sales of its Chrysler and Jeep ranges in the UK.

Sales of the two U.S. brands climbed to 18,834 for 2001 -- a 7.5 percent improvement on the previous best of 17,519 sales in 1997.

Almost 12,000 of the 2001 total were Chryslers and nearly 7,000 were Jeep vehicles, sold through 92 dealers.

The Chrysler Neon, Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee (Liberty) were all sourced from the U.S. but most of the Chrysler PT Cruiser and Voyager minivans and the Jeep Grand Cherokee came from D-C's European assembly plants in Graz, Austria.

Late last year, D-C announced plans to shift European PT Cruiser production back to Toluca, Mexico, just months after rolling out Job One in Austria. Chrysler UK has just launched the common rail diesel-powered PT Cruiser 2.2 CRD.

"The year 2001 was great for us for a number of reasons," Chrysler Jeep (UK) managing director Simon Elliott said.  "First we smashed the figures for the previous best year and second we had a wonderfully smooth run out of Voyager and Cherokee, coupled with successful launches of both replacement vehicles."