Malcolm Bricklin's Visionary Vehicles announced Wednesday another delay in his plans to import Chinese-built cars to the U.S., this time to late 2008 or early 2009. Bricklin originally planned a U.S. launch of Chery automobiles in January 2007.

Even the joint venture between Chery Automobile and Visionary Vehicles is behind schedule, with a definitive agreement between the two companies now expected later this year.

Bricklin has only signed 50 of the 250 dealers targeted for launching the Chery brand in the U.S., and with a $2 million sign-up fee, the remaining 200 aren't exactly breaking down the doors.

Originally aiming at the low end of the market, the "vision" (couldn't resist) is now to bring in models to compete with the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz, priced from $15,000 to $45,000. A total of 20 models are planned, with a new car launched every 3 months after the first model rolls into dealerships.

[Source: Reuters]