Future Not So Chery for Chrysler
As predicted here, Chrysler's plans to import Chinese-built subcompact cars into the American market has hit a few snags. When Chrysler replaced Malcolm Bricklin as Chery's American partner of choice earlier this year, the new dream team announced they'd have a subcompact car ready for export to the North American market by 2009. Now The Detroit News reports it ain't gonna happen (dot com). Chrysler's head of Asian operations, Phil Murgaugh, admitted that "the task we decided to bite off is a little bit more challenging than either Chery or Chrysler thought at the beginning." Sensibly enough, "when we're both satisfied that we've got cars that will meet… market requirements, then we'll begin exports." Thomas Hausch, Chrysler's executive director of international sales, revealed that they're still (cough) discussing the car with Chery and could not say when a US-compatible product would emerge from The People's Republic. With the just announced demise of the PT Cruiser, that leaves the chunky Dodge Caliber as Chrysler's smallest offering in a market where subcompact cars are the hot property. How great is that?
Chinese made Chryslers. Walter Chrysler is rolling over in his grave at the moment. But I do think you are going to see more overseas production of GM and Ford vehicles, with more of the transplants taking their place. The UAW workers better start making plans to either change careers or go to work in non-union shops far from Detroit. This being America, they have that choice, always have. Cerebus is going to gut Chrysler like a fish, the contract will be meaningless in the face of a selloff.
GMis4GoodManners "I guess they were concerned the cars had lead paint…." Zing!
If Chrysler comes out with that Hornet, I hope Hummer comes out with the Swatter.
File this under "duh". 2009 was extremely ambitious. Nothing produced by Chery will pace safety checks so a new car would have to be designed from the ground up - one that could be manufactured in China and still be up to code. At minimum, it's a 3 year process. With all the upheaval going on at Chrysler right now, I'd wager it would take even longer. What first? A Tesla Roadster or a plated & insured Chery on American soil?