• Feb 21st 2007 at 6:33PM
  • 14
Yes, we know, it wasn't that long ago we reported Chrysler Group President Tom LaSorda saying Chery would not build the Hornet show car, but rather supply one of its own models for sales as a Dodge-branded small car in the Chrysler Group's product portfolio. Now Autoweek is reporting that Chrysler is none too happy with Chery's weak efforts to improve the production quality of its own cars. So instead of having Chery supply one of its own models, Chrysler may go ahead on its own with development of the Hornet Concept. The Hornet would still be built by Chery in China, but Chrysler would help the Chinese automaker select suppliers for the production Hornet that meet a satisfactory quality standard.

A Chery spokesman would not confirm the Hornet's production, and a Chrysler spokesman said the deal is still in the early stages and final product has not yet been decided. Jason Vines, vice president for Chrysler Group Communications had this to say via email, "No comment. The Supervisory Board still has to approve the whole Chery deal."

For a quick timeline on this saga, follow the jump.

[Source: Autoweek via China Car Times]

Let's recap this Hornet story a bit here:

March 1, 2006
- Dodge shows Hornet show car at the Geneva Auto Show

May 9, 2006 – Dodge shopping for partners with which to build Hornet.

Dec. 29, 2006 – Dodge says it is contracting with Chery to build a small but sporty economy car. logical candidate for production looks to be the Hornet.

Jan. 3, 2007 - Dodge's Tom LaSorda says Chery will build a Chery for Dodge, not the Hornet

Feb. 21, 2007 - Not happy with Chery's quality, Hornet may be back in the plan for Chery's factory.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hey-that's cool. Now they can combine horrid looks with poor build quality. They're on their way back! Woo hoo!
      • 8 Years Ago
      They should call it the Gremlin, really. If you thought the quality on the Caliber is bad, wait for this one... What I don't get is why they would experiment by selling this thing here, rather than in China or some other developing market to shake out the bugs...
      • 8 Years Ago
      "...Chery's weak efforts to improve the production quality of its own cars..."

      who didnt see that coming? if they could build a competitive, quality product, then chery wouldnt need chrysler. but they cant so now chrysler is going to teach them how its done.

      can anyone think of a single occasion where a car company has outsourced a specific model that became a hit?

      it always produces cars that are memorable only for their eminent forgetability.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Mranton, I'm 19 and I also agree that the Hornet looks better than the hilariously odd xB (even the name and label of this box is not flattering, in my view). But, truthfully, I'd much rather save up some money and go for a Volkswagen Rabbit which, in my view, is the best car one could get for under $16,000.
      • 8 Years Ago
      As a 17 yr old going off to college soon, I would definitely place the Hornet as #1 on my list. It practicle, stylish, likely fuel efficient, comes with a strong dealer network for any of those inevitable 1st year problems and will prove to be a great value.

      To be blatantly true, I do not care where this car comes from as long as it succeeds in the marketplace (anything to help DCX) and is competitive. Look at the Aveo - class leading price, strong sales. Theres a market for this care - BUILD IT!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hey look, it's an American Scion xB!! Not. At least the Scion will last longer and get better gas mileage even tho both are hideous.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Re Nick,

      maybe Chrysler IS going to use this car as a toehold in China first, I don't think Dodge should use the Hornet name IF they sell it in the U.S.

      As far as Chery's quality, and lack thereof, it must REALLY be bad if Malcolm Bricklin has dropped plans to act as sole importer for Chery. He was after all, the guy who imported dozens if not hundreds of egg-shaped Subaru 360s (as in 360 cc engines).

      This is a prime instance where Chrysler would be better off in a tie-up of some kind with Hyundai.
      • 8 Years Ago
      - off topic -

      Hello folks !

      I'm sending this message to inform you that Volkswagen of Brazil is "launching" the "new" Golf for our local market, it is a Golf 4.5, basically a 4 generation model with bits and styling cues from the actual VW line (V grille, circles in the tail lights, and so on)

      Here's the link (http://autodiario.blogspot.com/2007/02/hes-comming.html) from Auto Diario (the blog where the news were posted, and which I'm member of the team)

      Thanks in advance,
      Eduardo S
      • 8 Years Ago
      Don't tell me Chery's next step is to acquire Chrylser
      • 8 Years Ago

      Buy a bicycle for college, save the money you plan to spend on this POS and invest it. You're just gonna have to trust me on this.
      • 8 Years Ago

      "....a Volkswagon Rabbit which, in my view, is the best car one could get for under $16,000."

      I have to admire ANYONE who believes that, and can say it with a straight face. VW's quality is legendary (but not in a good way) but hey...burn 16K your way.
      • 8 Years Ago
      sigh... i kind of like the concept as an alternative to the xB, but i feel that it's fated to a 1st-gen aveo build quality.
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