Western Europe will be first to get small Dodge

It's been almost two months since we last talked about Dodge's rumored partnership with Chery. So we thought we'd bring you an update. It now looks like Western Europe is being tabbed as one of the key markets for this small Dodge when it launches. Chery Automobile of China is still the most likely partner on the project, according to Chrysler group CEO Tom LaSorda. LaSorda actually said the choices have been narrowed to two, with rumors that the company is also looking at PSA/Peugeot-Citroen or perhaps even Hyundai. He added that a decision should come by the end of the year at the latest.

After Western Europe the small car should head to Mexico and Canada, with U.S. sales a possibility after that. DaimlerChrysler had previously told us that it really needed a partner if it were going to succeed at the low-margin end of the lineup, where Chery can certainly help with one of its small car platforms. The most likely vehicle coming out of this partnership would be a production version of the Dodge Hornet concept, shown above at the recently held Beijing Motor Show in China. Dodge wants to be more competitive globally and Chery has the ability to produce the subcompacts and superminis Dodge would need to be a real player. Chery has also wanted to establish itself in the U.S. to help build some credibility for the company, so this might be good for both parties.

[Source: Automotive News Europe, sub req]

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