Chrysler to sell Chinese superminis as Chryslers, Jeeps and Dodges
28 February 2007

Chrysler has attempted to divert continuing speculation over its future ownership by issuing the news that it has agreed a deal to sell a range of rebadged, Chinese-built small cars throughout the States and Europe.Late last year, Autocar heard that DaimlerChrysler was looking for a partner for the Chrysler Group with which it could develop and sell small cars. Yesterday, DC confirmed that it had found that partner; pending approval from the Chinese government, the company will develop a range of small family hatchbacks, superminis and city cars with Far Eastern maker Chery. The cars will be built in China and sold throughout Western Europe and North America as part of its Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge ranges.At the moment, the smallest car the group sells is the Focus-sized Dodge Caliber. This deal will, within a year or so, give it a way into global supermini and city car markets which, it says, account for 67 per cent of all car sales outside of the USA, and which could be the key to turning around its fortunes.What the deal won't include is a production version of the Dodge Hornet (pictured), the pumped-up supermini concept that impressed Geneva show-goers last year. "The Hornet is a great statement of our design," Chrysler Group CEO Tom LaSorda told Autocar. "It is also a statement that it’s something that we’re going to continue to look at, but that will be independent from this particular project."

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