• Apr 21, 2008
If you've been waiting on pins and needles for a small Chrysler that's due to be built in China by Chery, you're going to have to twiddle your thumbs a little longer. Though we've been hearing about a Chrysler/Chery Hornet or Demon for some time, execs from both companies don't believe the products are ready for North America, yet. Quality and safety are still a concern with the vehicles, but Chrysler's China boss Phil Murtaugh feels the challenges are far from insurmountable. Chery Chairman, Yin Tongyao, is also convinced that more work needs to be done to get the product up to US standards, saying the US and Europe are "very mature markets."

Chery is dying to get its affordable vehicles into the US market, but both Chrysler and Chery seem to understand that any sub-standard Chinese vehicles are destined to take their place next to Yugo in the history books. Chances are that the two companies will only have one shot to get things right, and if the final product is garbage, Chery will be finished in the US, and Chrysler's already dim rep will start to flicker. If the inexpensive vehicles are a big hit, however, the Pentastar will be pulling in Yuan hand over fist.

[Source: AP]


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  • 16 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Chrysler is doing this right by waiting for the capability of Chery to catch up to "mature" markets. The downside of this is that time to market is critical in the car business. Will anyone be interested in a Hornet or Demon in 4 to 6 years? When Chrysler entered into an agreement to produce a luxury 2 seater with Maseratti in the 80's, they had to keep pushing it back due to quality issues. When the car finally arrived, the interest had waned and the car (TC) looked like a derivitive of the 4 seat LeBaron.
      • 6 Years Ago
      We'll never see that car. It'll be so out of date by the time the Chery thing works out the concept will end up gathering dust in a warehouse and nothing more.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Chery is going to have a lot of recalls now.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I sincerely doubt that China, with its T-R-I-L-L-I-O-N-S (say it again slowly so it sinks in) of dollars available for investment, would allow its most recognized automotive brand to fold because a few hundred million.

        With gas north of $3.50, and probably never touching $2.XX again, i don't see this car going out of style. In fact, this type of car will become the norm (take a trip to Europe to verify).

        I think it looks cool - matter of opinion. And if Chrysler backs it up with lifetime warranty, sign me up.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Chrysler LLC should work with Nissan to develop the Hornet on the Versa's B platform. Obviously, this platform is compatible with U.S. auto regulations already. Chrysler LLC needs a credible product in the subcompact segment as soon as possible, not when the Chinese auto makers finally get around to getting their act together. The Nissan B platform would be a perfect way to go to get this much needed product to market with some assurance that it won't be a problem child for Chrysler LLC.

      As far as Chrysler LLC's deal with Chery, I think they should make it a distribution deal only for the U.S. Chrysler LLC could offer Chery's products in their dealerships, but sell them under the "Chery" name as a budget import Chinese line positioned below Dodge. Chrysler LLC runs a risk of further tarnishing their reputation in the market if Chery's products are labeled under a Chrysler LLC brand and the products turn out to be of poor quality or reliability. Chrysler LLC has enough issues of its own to sort out without adding any additional hurdles from offering possible subpar rebadged Chinese products under the name of one of its own brands.
        • 6 Years Ago
        GM has already sued to block the sale of Chery cars under the Chery name, out of fear the death traps would be mistaken for Chevy, and thus reflect badly on their volume brand. But otherwise I agree; in some fashion. No Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep-badged death traps or Chrysler will be out of business within 5 years of their first sale.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would like a Hornet if it were a joint venture with say, Mitsu, or better yet, VW...since they have the cool 1.8TDI....But so far anything I have seen from China that has any moving parts is a POS. I think this partnership has more to do with the fact that import companies can't operate in China without in-country support of some type. So Chrysler NEEDS Chery to sell cars in China.

      BTW- If Neons were such junk, why were they profitable for Chrysler, while the Cavalier and Escort never made Ford and GM a dime?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'll raise you. If Neons were junk, then why are they still quite dominant in SCCA stock and modified FWD events?

      • 6 Years Ago
      The US government needs to grow some balls and institute a full embargo on Red China. No company that does business in the US should be allowed to do business with Red China.

      Sina delenda est.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The economic growth of China will likely lead to democracy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't think it really matters since the Neon was never up to any real standards of safety or performance or really anything.
      But then again that's also why Chrysler went down the drain, lol.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Again, wasn't Chrysler all ticked off at Chinese cars at one time?
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