Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chrysler to export Chery A1 to Mexico in late 2008

Chery Auto will finally consummate its corporate marriage with Chrysler when a version of the Chrysler-badged Chery A1 goes on sale in Mexico by the end of 2008. The Chinese small-car is built as an OEM project at Chery’s Wuhu plant and will be exported to Mexico later this year with a Chrylser brand, perhaps Dodge as previously reported.

The new Chery A1 for export to Mexico is similar to the Chery A1 sold in China, both of which were designed by Stile Bertone, an Italian automotive design firm. It is an updated subcompact model of the Chery QQ, with a 1.3L gasoline engine capable of a top speed of 156 kmh. The Chery A1, aimed at young customers, is currently sold from 40,000 yuan ($5,750) to 65,000 yuan in the domestic market.

Sales of the Chrysler/Dodge-branded Chery A1 in the United States are expected sometime in 2009 or beyond, assuming that the subcompact can meet U.S. crash and emissions standards. Chrysler and Chery are in talks on building Chery cars with Chrysler branding for the American and European markets.

The export of Chery A1 to Mexico marks the Chrysler-Chery deal has begun to bear fruits. And industry analysts say this heralds Chery’s entry into the North America market. The next destination of the Chery car may be Canada, said as an executive of DaimlerChrysler.

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