Different Roads 
 
Chrysler CCV. 1997.
Chrysler CCV. 1997.
Courtesy Chrysler
 
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specifications
 

The quickly emerging market for personal transportation in developing nations presents many problems for manufacturers. The issues that must be addressed include economy, politics, availability of maintenance and fuel, unusual uses, poor road infrastructure, overcrowding, and the devastating possible repercussions of increased pollution. The DaimlerChrysler CCV, produced as a working prototype in 1997, is an ingenious example of a car designed from scratch for exactly this market; an inexpensive and sturdy car for developing nations. The car’s styling and name are reminiscent of the much loved Citroën 2CV, and the designers and engineers of the CCV began the project by rethinking the actual production with an emphasis on keeping costs down. "Our initial direction was to develop a car that was as easy to assemble as a toy," said Chrysler Executive Vice President, François Castaing.
 
The result of this rethinking is an extremely rational automobile. A process was developed to make injection-molded composite body parts that were three times the size of what was previously possible, and the entire body is joined together using only four bolts and adhesives. The composite body–two halves split front to back–is attached to a steel frame and is molded in color rather than painted, saving costs and production time, as well as reducing emissions at the plant. Because of this new manufacturing process start-up is much faster, the costs are only a quarter of the average costs, a much smaller factory is required, production time is cut to six and a half hours as opposed to twenty for average economy car, and the number of parts is one quarter of the previous amount. The cost of the material polyethene terephthalate (similar to that of plastic soda bottles) is only $1.10 compared to $5—$10 per square foot of material for a normal car and is also one hundred percent recyclable.
 
Because the car is extremely light, weighing only 1,200 pounds, it can be powered by an extremely small, two-cylinder engine that gets about 50 mpg (miles per gallon) and produces little emission. The sparse interior is easily washable, as is the exterior, and its zip-down hood is desirable in the commonly hot climates of poorer nations. Consideration for the quality of roads is also apparent in the unusually high wheel clearance of eight inches.

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