Buzz is back: Chery to build Hornet after all?

Yes, we know, it wasn't that long ago we reported Chrysler Group President Tom LaSorda saying Chery would not build the Hornet show car, but rather supply one of its own models for sales as a Dodge-branded small car in the Chrysler Group's product portfolio. Now Autoweek is reporting that Chrysler is none too happy with Chery's weak efforts to improve the production quality of its own cars. So instead of having Chery supply one of its own models, Chrysler may go ahead on its own with development of the Hornet Concept. The Hornet would still be built by Chery in China, but Chrysler would help the Chinese automaker select suppliers for the production Hornet that meet a satisfactory quality standard.

A Chery spokesman would not confirm the Hornet's production, and a Chrysler spokesman said the deal is still in the early stages and final product has not yet been decided. Jason Vines, vice president for Chrysler Group Communications had this to say via email, "No comment. The Supervisory Board still has to approve the whole Chery deal."

For a quick timeline on this saga, follow the jump.

[Source: Autoweek via China Car Times]

Let's recap this Hornet story a bit here:

March 1, 2006
- Dodge shows Hornet show car at the Geneva Auto Show

May 9, 2006 – Dodge shopping for partners with which to build Hornet.

Dec. 29, 2006 – Dodge says it is contracting with Chery to build a small but sporty economy car. logical candidate for production looks to be the Hornet.

Jan. 3, 2007 - Dodge's Tom LaSorda says Chery will build a Chery for Dodge, not the Hornet

Feb. 21, 2007 - Not happy with Chery's quality, Hornet may be back in the plan for Chery's factory.

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