Above: Great Wall Peri
Most automakers are struggling with horrible US market conditions right now, but unlike competitors such as Toyota and Ford, Chrysler doesn't have sales in other areas of the world to fall back on. The Pentastar is looking to improve its fortunes overseas while also benefiting from low labor costs by partnering with the Great Wall Motor Company. The young Chinese automaker doesn't specialize in the small vehicles Chrysler needs here in the States, however, as the company's primary focus is on trucks and SUVs. The goal of the union is to share distribution channels, technology, and components, which should save both companies money in R&D and improve economies of scale. The deal is unrelated to a separate pact with Chery to produce a small, Dodge-branded car for sale in North America.
With sales down in the states by 28% in June, Chrysler appears to be in the most trouble of the Detroit automakers in the near term. Branching out to other markets to drive down costs and add sales could be the automaker's best hope for survival in the future.
[Source: Detroit News]