Chrysler Opens Chinese Design Office

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
chrysler opens chinese design office

Chrysler LLC announced today that it has opened a design office in China, a move the Detroit Free Press calls "part of a much larger expansion by the Auburn Hills automaker to beef up its product design efforts outside the United States." While Chrysler slashes as many as 25k North American jobs this year, it plans on recruiting 1k engineers outside from outside the United States. Chrysler's Chinese operations are expanding to include more local suppliers, in India the local engineering staff is set to double. Arguing that Chrysler is designing models specific to rapidly growing markets abroad, VP for product development Frank Klegon points to the success of its Mexico division (which is set to add 450 new staff). "They're already doing unique product for Mexico that's designed and developed in Santa Fe and for sale in Mexico by themselves," says Klegon. "It's a resource center that we're building upon. They started out as more of a vehicle development and test facility and moved them into design." But something doesn't add up here. If this is all about "unique products for unique markets," then why is Chrysler selling a rebadged (Chinese) Chery A1 in Mexico as a Dodge?

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  • Romanjetfighter Romanjetfighter on Apr 17, 2008

    I don't understand how American automakers can say "Buy American, you should help your country!" then outsource thousands of American jobs to freaking Bangladesh. Hypocrits!

  • Talldude07 Talldude07 on Apr 18, 2008

    Yes it is sad, most the Asian cars have a VIN that starts with 1 or 4 or 5 which mean USA, While the Ford Edge has a 3 for Mexico, the Chevy Aveo has a K for South Korea, ect. Either way im not too excited if Chrysler begins selling the "China-Car-Co" Wannabe Hyundai. I mean look at what the next dodge neon will be? Another import, but who cares they do have the hemi so they are still macho.

  • OldandSlow OldandSlow on Apr 18, 2008

    Has that little Chery A1 been crash tested yet?

  • Menno Menno on Apr 18, 2008

    Ironic that I (finally) gave up on the Detroit 2.8 and currently, one of the cars in my garage is manufactured in the United States anyway. It's my wife's Hyundai Sonata. I've visited the factory, and it was very impressive. The steel rolls in the press plant said "US Steel" on them. The engine plant is on site. It's not just an assembly-of-kits operation; it's the real deal. Hyundai are also putting jobs into Michigan at their Ann Arbor engineering center, and a California design center. Why on earth would I consider a Chinese designed, engineered or manufactured car with a Chrysler badge? I wouldn't.