Chrysler Plunges Into China Trade

US auto giant plans to use tiny imports to battle Japanese manufacturers
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2007 12:29 PM CDT
A man snaps a picture of a car from Chinese automaker Chery during the Shanghai Auto Show in Shanghai, China, Friday, April 20, 2007. Chery, based in the eastern Chinese city of Wuhu, is the biggest of...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – In a cost-cutting move, Chrysler will introduce cars produced by China's biggest automaker to the US market by late 2009. Chrysler and Chery staged a signing ceremony today in Beijing to allay fears about the American auto giant's new ownership not backing the deal, MarketWatch reports. The first vehicles will hit Latin American and Eastern European markets within a year.

The partnership allows Chrysler to dramatically slash prices—Bloomberg reports that the new models may undercut current offerings by as much as 50%—while offering Chery entree into coveted European and American markets. The companies say they will collaborate on design and development, using Chery's tiny platforms with an initial goal of producing 50,000 to 100,000 vehicles annually.