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It's now looking like Chrysler's hopes of getting a fuel efficient small car from China's Chery Motors are dead in the water. The company had agreed with Chery in late 2006 to collaborate on small car development and production. This had led to hopes that the Dodge Hornet concept might become a reality at some point. The first stage in the deal was to sell Dodge-badged versions of the Chery QQ in Mexico and central America before bringing all new cars to the U.S. Apparently money problems at both companies, combined with the poor quality of the Chinese-made cars, combined to kill the deal. Chery's cars had no hope of passing U.S. safety standards in their current form and an all-new car was apparently out of the budget. If Chrysler survives, it may have to rely on a more recent deal with Great Wall Motors of China or Nissan. The Japanese brand recently started providing a Dodge-branded version of the Versa for sale in South America.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

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