Monday, January 21, 2008

Chrysler's China car is not EU-ready

DETROIT -- Chrysler still plans to sell a China-built small car in Europe and the US, but the project is proceeding very slowly.

" There is still a lot of work to do to get our new small car compliant with EU and US standards," said Michael Manley, Chrysler executive vice president of international sales, at the auto show here.

Chrysler formed an alliance with Chery Automobile in December 2006 to fill a small-car gap in its product portfolio. Next year, Chrysler expects to begin offering a rebadged Dodge variant of Chery's A1 small car in Latin America. But the new car for Europe and US is at least three years away.

" For the Dodge model for Latin America, we have concerns on quality and on noise, vibration and harshness that we hope we can resolve soon," he said.

To create a small car for Europe and the US, Manley said Chrysler plans to put its own body on a revised Chery's A1 platform, but a lot of basic work must still be done.

" The platform itself is far from being compliant with European and US safety standards," Manley said

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