• Oct 3, 2006
Word out of Detroit today has Chrysler almost ready to sign and seal a deal with Chinese automaker Chery Automobile. We just talked about this a few days ago, but it looks like it's actually going to happen any time now. DaimlerChrysler had previously told us that it really needed a partner if it were going to succeed at the low-margin end of the lineup, where Chery can certainly help with one of its small car platforms. The most likely vehicle coming out of this partnership would be the Dodge Hornet concept in production form. Dodge wants to be more competitive globally and Chery has the ability to produce the subcompacts and superminis Dodge would need to be a real player. Chery has also wanted to establish themselves in the U.S. to help build some credibility for the company, so this might be good for both parties.

Caught somewhere in the middle of this negotiation is none other than Malcolm Bricklin who has been working on his own Chery import deal. Bricklin should be well-known to Autoblog readers. His plans to make the Chery the Yugo Kia of this century, have been met with cynicism, especially after all of the delays and scaling back the project has encountered. But his dreams of bringing low-cost, decent quality cars would live on even if the Chrysler deal goes through. In fact, this would most likely help Bricklin a lot, as Chery would all of a sudden have a little more street cred.

[Source: Automotive News, sub req]


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  • 19 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      #2 Because it cheap, fits right in to what old Lee said, "People want an Imperial for the price of a K-Car"

      Everyone talks about the new, get with it "global economy" someone does, blasted.

      "Dodge wants to be more competitive globally"

      Cheap, quick and dirty, no real expense, seems like the ticket in our new global economy.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hey, Lithious and the rest of the Patriots, no comments on this one? This decision must have been made by the German 1/2 of the company, eh?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Someone else mentioned this earlier, but Bricklin is bringing luxury cars to the United States that will compete with BMW, Mercedes and others, but at an appreciable discount. So, the Kia comparison is incorrect...
      • 8 Years Ago
      To think.....Hyundai started off in the same fashion all those many moons ago.
      • 8 Years Ago
      another "american" care to be proud of
      • 8 Years Ago
      A Chinese made Dodge. I can hardly wait...
      • 8 Years Ago
      If Chrysler offers the same 70,000 mile warranty on this as they do on the rest of their cars, they are going to lose alot of money when these cars get about 50,000 miles on them, because thats about all they'll last for.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't know if I should look forward to it or be worried. I hope they figured out that safety issue. Looks like a neat fun car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "So our fine US engineers have had NO ability to design a quality small car for the last 30 years??"

      Not quite. US auto makers just don't have the manufacturing capability to build profitable cars of such a small scale. Hard to build this Hornet in a Durango factory, for example. Caliber is about as small as Chrylser Group can go. And we've yet to see if that will be profitable, but it should be, thanks to sharing with the 2 Jeep platforms. I believe the Neon was the first profitable US manufactured compact ever made. This thing is even smaller.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Chery also has the rights to the tri-tech engine which is used in the MINI and was a joint effort between Chrysler and BMW.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Boy did I laugh at that thing. What a weird looking small car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I am starting to like this car, it has a Mini Cooper feeling to it.
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