Israel develops and produces a lot of things, from microchips to cosmetics. But, discounting the odd dune-buggy or army jeep, cars aren't one of them. So it came as a bi t of a surprise when Quantum, an American subsidiary of (the imaginatively named) holding company Israel Corp., announced it was embarking on a joint venture with an unnamed Asian automaker back in the spring.

Israel Corp. has now won approval from China's still heavily centralized government to set up shop in partnership with Chery Automobile. The Israeli partner will take a 45% stake in the venture, worth about $225 million, with Chery presumably taking the other 55%. The news of the deal hit the wire shortly after the now-refuted

reports of an ambitious plan to put 10,000 electric cars on Israeli roads by 2010.

Chery was the first of a plethora of Chinese automakers that now manufactures outside of China, operating its own plants in Iran, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Argentina. While it's still not known where the new Sino-Israeli cars will be built, they could very well find their way to our shores as Chery gears up for its assault on the American market.

[Source: Detroit News]