Chrysler will finally end months of speculation at this week’s Geneva motor show when it announces plans to build a two-door, four-seat convertible version of its PT Cruiser at Toluca, Mexico for sale in early 2004.


According to The Detroit News, Chrysler wants to stimulate flagging PT Cruiser demand and capture more of the convertible market in the United States and Western Europe (where, ironically, the rainy, cold UK is one of the top drop-top markets).


The Detroit News said the new model will be the latest of a specialty series of PT Cruisers Chrysler hopes will fuel interest in the vehicle.


Other versions already come with flame decals and wood body panels, the newspaper said, adding that, according to analysts, Chrysler is considering other derivatives including a wagon and small pickup.


The Detroit News said that Chrysler has sold 310,000 PT Cruisers since launch in 2000, 258,000 of them in the United States alone.


Responding to softening domestic demand, Chrysler launched the first-ever cash rebates on the PT Cruiser early last month after once-hot US sales fell 36 percent in January, the newspaper said, adding that February sales tumbled 19 percent year-on-year.


Chrysler has also recently axed European PT Cruiser production after only six months.