Chrysler's Chinese Chery Import Stuck in Development Hell

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
chryslers chinese chery import stuck in development hell

Inside baseball-types will recall that erstwhile automotive magnate Malcolm Bricklin's dreams of importing a Chinese-built Chery car into the American market hit the rocks back in December '05. Into the breach (dear Horatio) rushed Chrysler. Last year, the American and Chinese automakers signed an agreement to produce an economy car for U.S. Dodge dealers and world markets. And now… nada. According to the AP , ChryCo's Chief of Asian Ops admits that a Chinese-made U.S. import is "not ready for the U.S. market." How not ready? "We have no progress to report," Phil Murtaugh told reporters at the Beijing auto show. "But we really are satisfied with those discussions." Discussions that lead nowhere being a good thing? Sure! "I don't think we're too far away," Murtagh assured skeptics concerned with the theoretical car's price, safety, performance, quality, reliability, ability to meet U.S. federal regulations and profitability. "But neither one of us are ready to say 'Let's go' yet..'"

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  • Mel23 Mel23 on Apr 21, 2008

    Does anybody know if Bricklin ended up with money from those who signed up as dealers or whatever they were supposed to be? Did he get control of the money or was it just pledged for when and IF he got anything they could sell? And as I remember, part of his 'plan' was for eventual US manufacture of these jewels. I never could figure that part out.

  • Bancho Bancho on Apr 21, 2008

    blowfish : "He would appreciate less Indians circling his wagons,..." Is this somewhat prophetic of Mahindra's eventual acquisition of Jeep once Cerberus starts carving up the corpse?

  • Windswords Windswords on Apr 21, 2008

    Autoblog got this right: "Chery is dying to get its affordable vehicles into the US market, but both Chrysler and Chery seem to understand that any sub-standard Chinese vehicles are destined to take their place next to Yugo in the history books. Chances are that the two companies will only have one shot to get things right, and if the final product is garbage, Chery will be finished in the US, and Chrysler's already dim rep will start to flicker. If the inexpensive vehicles are a big hit, however, the Pentastar will be pulling in Yuan hand over fist." That being said, there is a downside to this. Time to market is critical in the car business. Will anyone be interested in a Hornet or Demon in 4 to 6 years?

  • Blowfish Blowfish on Apr 21, 2008

    Bancho : April 21st, 2008 at 10:31 am blowfish : “He would appreciate less Indians circling his wagons,…” Is this somewhat prophetic of Mahindra’s eventual acquisition of Jeep once Cerberus starts carving up the corpse? hope s not gong to happen too soon, Jeep is Chrysler-bus's trump card, but then the prognosis doesnt look entirely good or a good Doctor would say " Prognosis Guarded, plus good luck buddy and pat you on the shoulder"