Dodge close to a deal on Hornet

Dodge is close to striking a deal with Chinese brand Chery to build its Hornet supermini.

The DaimlerChrysler-owned manufacturer has been searching for a manufacturing base for a low-cost, entry-level car. It is expected to stick closely to the looks of the chunky Hornet concept car, one of the stars of this year's Geneva motor show.

VW was under consideration as a potential partner on the project but it is now said to have been ruled out on grounds of cost. CEO Tom LaSorda told Automotive News Europe, "We'll have a decision by the end of the month. We are down to two and Chery is the leader." Reports have suggested that PSA and Hyundai are other candidates but Chery - which demonstrated bullish confidence by unveiling four concepts at the Beijing motor show earlier this week - could keep Dodge's production costs at a minimum.

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