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?
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