By Edward Niedermeyer
We've known for a quite some time that Chrysler's partnership with Chery is a long ways off from bearing, um, fruit for the U.S. market. Automotive News [sub] reports that Chrysler has sent engineers over to China to ready the A1 for American importation. Again. Still. "We need small cars," says Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda, offering a piercing glimpse into the obvious while riffing on that old flick "Mars needs women." "Chery's cars are still not ready for that exposure into these markets." Nor will they be until that mythic 2010 debut date. LaSorda said China-built cars probably can't meet U.S. safety and emissions standards for "three years or more." Chrysler can't wait to pop its Chery in the North American market. The company announced it will be selling
death traps Cherys in Mexico under a Chrysler nameplate while engineers ready the diminutive Chinese whips for the American market. The Bertone-styled Chery A1 will be imported to Mexico by year's end. While "lucky" Mexicans get to enjoy Chinese-market standards in reliability, build quality and emissions, Yanks will just have to wait before experiencing the joys of Chrysler-branded Chinese personal transportation. Or not. Meanwhile, what?