New deal with Nissan could see Dodge Hornet go into production
15 April 2008

Chrysler has announced a tie-up with Nissan which could finally lead to the company’s Hornet supermini concept making it into production. “Nissan will manufacture an all-new, fuel-efficient small car based on a unique Chrysler concept and design,” read an official joint statement. The companies also confirmed that the new project will be built in Japan and sold worldwide.Chrysler has been seeking a partner to help manufacture the striking looking Hornet since it was unveiled at the Geneva motorshow in 2006. It’s very likely that the Hornet will be built on the Nissan Micra platform at Nissan’s Oppama factory in Japan, with a worldwide launch scheduled for 2010. The two manufacturers have been working on this tie-up for a while. Earlier this year Nissan agreed to supply Chrysler with a new car based on its old US-only Versa saloon, which Chrysler intends to market in South America. Meanwhile, Chrysler will manufacture a full-sized pick-up truck for Nissan in America, which will be launched in the States in 2011. At the Detroit motor show earlier this year, Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli spoke of his company’s strengthened alliance with Nissan and stated that Chrysler would look to forge more relationships elsewhere. Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has also admitted his desire for a North American partner, since his attempts to merge with GM broke down in 2006. Some industry analysts reckon that it’s possible that Chrysler and Nissan’s relationship could go further in the future - Chrysler could even eventually become a third element of the Renault-Nissan alliance.

Will Powell

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