The Car Geek: Chrysler, Chery to collaborate on small cars

The Car Geek

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Chrysler, Chery to collaborate on small cars

The Chinese are coming.

In the news: DaimlerChrysler's Supervisory Board has just approved plans for a partnership with China 's Chery Motor Company to develop affordable, small vehicles. The announcement follows a preliminary agreement between the two companies made in December.

The Chery deal has long been rumored and people have been speculating for a time expecting the deal to pave the way to the production version of the Dodge Hornet concept. Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda however, has earlier said in January that these projects were not related.

"The Hornet is a great statement of our design," LaSorda said. "It is also a statement that it’s something that we’re going to continue to take a look at, and depending on the business case going, we’ll look at that independently from this particular project."

In a statement released, the company said that the new small vehicles will allow Chrysler Group brands to "compete in segments in which the brands do not currently compete, and which are especially important in price- and fuel-economy sensitive markets."

"Some 67 percent of all vehicles sold outside of North America are in these segments. Chrysler Group's major competitors in the U.S. and Western Europe have similar arrangements with Asian manufacturers for vehicles in these segments."

Under the partnership, Chery-built vehicles with its auto body parts will be distributed under Chrysler brands, primarily in North America and Western Europe.