Chrysler, Chinese Automaker Team-Up on Small Car


Chrysler’s parent company, DaimlerChrysler, announced last week that it had agreed to join with Chery Automobile — one of China’s major automakers — to jointly build a new small car in the $10,000 range. There’s no word on what the car will look like, but it will be sold as either a Dodge, Chrysler or Jeep. If we had to hedge our bets, we think it would probably be a version of the well-received Dodge Hornet Concept shown here.

Why was a Chinese partner sought out by the German-American company? Building the car using current DaimlerChrysler assembly plants and workers would be too costly. Don’t expect to see the resulting car until 2008, even though the company says the design is already being worked on and the vehicle will be based on an existing Chery product.

[China's Chery to Build Small Cars for Chrysler to Sell Worldwide, USA Today]

By David Thomas | January 2, 2007 | Comments (16)


This makes complete sense in the short term, but what is to stop Chery from marketing on its own in the long term?

The main thing stopping Chery (which already failed to enter the market with an American partner) will be public perception much like the Koreans encountered early on. But the relatively short (ten years or so) time to become an accepted brand was worth it for the Koreans. Could the Chinese take that long with so much competition? That would be my big question.

I'd also point to reliability and build concerns but Chrysler's quality of late hasn't been stellar itself.


I've been to various countries and discovered that they make some very fine products. Where I draw the line however is when they copy other country's brands and put the brand name on the product! (Rolex watches, Oakley glasses, Levis, Video games, etc to name a very, very few) The result is reduced quality 99.9% of the time. I unfortunately would feel the same if given the choice to buy a vehicle made by Chevy... I mean Chery.

I don't mean to criticize and I have no doubt Chery makes some qualtiy affordable vehicles.

But, in the tough auto market we need originality not what "appears" to be a knock off name brand. Perception is key. I'm pretty sure it would would wear a domestic brand name though.... Kinda like Chevy's (Daihatsu) Aveo.



U mean Chevy's DAEWOO AVEO...

I hope the Hornet becomes a reality soon.
I would buy this vehicle!
My guess is this machine will be badged as a Dodge.

Merry New Year to all!!!




Thanks for correcting me on the Aveo. That aside, did you see my point?


It's already been stated the car will NOT be the Dodge Hornet. Which i must say is a shame.

Granted, the production car would probably take away some of the cooler design elements, but if not they'd have a winner. No Focus or Cobalt could beat it. Unless the next-gen Corolla is a better hit than the Yaris it'd beat that too. I think it's only MAJOR competition would be the Civic which is way too advanced for any Chinese or American car manufacterer to match.

I think Dodge was on to something with this car and should definetely put it into production right out of the box. ASAP.


Yes, Troy...I DO see your point!
No dis on you for a tiny mistake. OK?
BTW, Tom...There's a stong chance that it WILL be the Hornet...Nothing written yet says anything to the contrary that it won't be...At least DC/Chery could come up with an evolved version of it...perhaps calling it something else...but don't be surprised if this concept is the one DC goes with in the long run!

Focus? Cobalt? C'mon...those machines are old news, and will remain that way for quite a while...especially the refreshened Focus coming our way soon.

DC has an opportunity to boom itself back into a money making organization if it only came through with what they promise, and not water these concepts down, so to speak. The Caliber could be a top machine if DC would take the time to improve both its interior and reliability/dependability issues, in general. Chrysler has been soooooooooo lax with build quality, and from what I gather this has been true for quite a while.
Time will tell. I'd still go for this concept machine, the "Hornet!"

Chrysler= Get it together!


I think Chrysler saying it won't be the Hornet as they did in a recent interview actually makes me think it will be even more. Its the smart/easy move. If they do something different I'd be surprised. The vehicle will most likely be a dodge regardless.


The car produced by DC/Chery has been officially announced that it will NOT be the Hornet. (Source: But it will be a C-segment car like I said.

And I also previously stated, AladdinSane, that the Hornet would beat any Cobalt SS or Focus SVT thrown it's way. Especially an SRT version. I'm just passing the news onto the folks here.

Like I said and the reason I'm not changing the post is like a head coach saying he's not going to take a job and two weeks later he takes it, it is way too common in the auto world for these things to change. The smart money would still be on the Hornet instead of something we haven't seen yet or that hasn't gotten the same positive reaction. It could be wrong but you have to understand that these things change all the time.


Regardless of what they call it, I'm happy to see manufacturers bring more small vehicles to the market. I'm a big compact vehicle fan and will give this one a test drive when it comes out.


Good, Troy...

I second that emotion!!!

Tom, well...whatever floats your boat...
Dave T. is on da beam!

Have al good one, ya'all.



Good, Troy...

I second that emotion!!!

Tom, well...whatever floats your boat...
Dave T. is on da beam!

Have a good one, y'all.



I hope they do build the Hornet. It looks good and they need a small car. I thought the Nitro looked good until I saw one on the road. It is too big for that styling. If they made it the same size as the Scion xA and xB, it would look just right, imho.

i also see the new model of Nitro on the way when i was going home from my collage it was really looks cool.

Great new model, I see more and more of the Nitro's when i am walking around in my city and I must say, it looks really nice!

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