Amid all the turmoil about a potential sale of Chrysler, the DaimlerChrysler supervisor board has signed off on partnership agreement with Chery Automotive of China. Chery and Chrysler will work together and small cars manufactured by Chery will badged with Chrysler brands for sale in North America and Western Europe. The Chinese government still has to approve but the deal is expected to be finalized by the end of March. At this point this is strictly a non-equity deal, although that can obviously change. The Chrysler press release is after the jump.

[Source: DaimlerChrysler] DaimlerChrysler Supervisory Board Approves Small-Car Agreement

Auburn Hills, Mich./Stuttgart, Germany - The DaimlerChrysler Supervisory Board today approved the framework of a limited partnership to develop small vehicles between the Chrysler Group and Chery Motor Company of China. The deal is still contingent upon approval by the Chinese government, but the final pact of the framework is expected to be signed by the end of March. Under the non-equity partnership, Chery-built vehicles will be distributed under Chrysler brands, primarily in North America and Western Europe.

Chrysler Group indicated that the partnership would allow the company to become a bigger player on the global automotive stage by giving it access to products in new segments more quickly, with less capital spending.

Small vehicles such as these will allow Chrysler Group brands to compete in segments in which the brands do not currently compete, and which are especially important in price- and fuel-economy sensitive markets. Some 67 percent of all vehicles sold outside of North America are in these segments. Chrysler Group's major competitors in the U.S. and Western Europe have similar arrangements with Asian manufacturers for vehicles in these segments.

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