Ever since they unveiled the Dodge Hornet at the Geneva Auto Show last spring, Chrysler has been looking for a partner to share the development costs of building it. Chrysler really needs a small B-Class car like the Hornet; particularly in overseas markets but increasingly in the North American market as well. Currently they have no suitable hardware to use a basis for such car. It's being reported all over that Chrysler is now very close to a deal Chinese car-maker Chery to do the manufacturing for them. Chery is the company that is also hooked up with former Yugo importer Malcolm Bricklin to distribute their cars in the US through his Visionary Vehicles company. Chery is one of the smaller Chinese car-makers and made there reputation by cloning the Daewoo Matiz and building and selling it as the Chery QQ. Chrysler is talking about bringing the Hornet to market as early as 2008, which means that they must already be well along in the development and are probably just using Chery as a low cost contract manufacturer.
[Source: TheCarConnection.com and The Detroit News]