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Chrysler has partnered with Google Maps to launch a virtual tour of its Michigan factory that builds the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200.

The virtual tour, with 360-degree interactive films and photography, allows users to get up-close to aspects of the assembly process, taking them inside the 5-million-square-foot Sterling Heights Assembly Plant. To build the new midsize sedan, Chrysler invested more than $1 billion to renovate the Sterling Heights facility, which employs more than 3,200.

"Just as we pioneered a completely new Chrysler 200, we are pioneering a new way for consumers to research a vehicle," said Olivier Francois, Chrysler chief marketing officer, in a statement. "The Factory Tour is an opportunity for us to prove to consumers that the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 is not one ever built before."

The tour — available at www.chrysler200factory.com — starts with a 30-second introductory film, followed by a 360-degree virtual tour of the factory's interior, using Google Maps Street View technology. A navigation tool then offers a guided tour through 12 videos dedicated to individual areas of the assembly plant, or they can explore on their own. The experience is similar to Google Maps' street view.

Al Gardner, Chrysler brand president and CEO, said the company wanted to offer consumers a unique experience to make sure they knew the high-tech nature of building the all-new midsize sedan.

"In today's economy, and with so many consumer options, we believe showing where and how the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 is made will make a lasting impression, and continue to speak volumes about the company's commitment to quality and craftsmanship in the most transparent way," he said in a statement. "Many of these unique features go well beyond the ones consumers will be able to see in the new 200 on the showroom floor."

The Auburn Hills automaker started investigating the possibilities of a virtual factory tour this past spring, according to Chrysler spokeswoman Diane Morgan. The company currently has no plans of offering virtual tours at other facilities.

The Chrysler 200 factory tour is available for both laptop and mobile devices, including Android and Apple operating systems.

The 2015 200 went on sale earlier this year. In August, 200 sales were up 6.6 percent to 10,810 cars sold.

mwayland@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2504

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