Chrysler Considers China as Important Test Ground [08/27/2007 ]
BEIJING, August 27, SinoCast -- China is becoming Chrysler LLC's important test ground, said a top executive for the company, which is now planning to expand outside North America via licensing vehicle production, outsourcing production, and forming joint ventures with local partners.
SinoCast China Transportation Watch via NewsEdge Corporation :
BEIJING, August 27, SinoCast -- China is becoming Chrysler LLC's important test ground, said a top executive for the company, which is now planning to expand outside North America via licensing vehicle production, outsourcing production, and forming joint ventures with local partners. Earlier, Grand Voyager, the first minivan model of Chrysler, rolled off the production line at a plant of South East (Fujian) Motor Co., Ltd. The Chinese company makes the model in accordance with a licensed agreement with Chrysler in 2005. Chrysler Executive Vice President Mike Manley once expressed that licensing production is beneficial to the company. It enables the automaker to launch a car model into the market quickly. The operating mode, Mr. Manley believed, will also be adopted in other countries. Meanwhile, Chrysler also attaches the same importance to the establishment of joint ventures with other automakers. The US company, making jeeps and sedans in China in a venture with Chinese leading automaker Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., Ltd., is considering setting up a second joint venture in China, whose 2006 passenger car sales volume leaped 35 percent from the previous year. The company can choose a proper partner from a number of local automakers, said Mr. Manley. However, he did not disclose more details to the plan. Wuhu-based Chinese independent-branded automaker Chery Automobile Co., Ltd., which has signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement with Chrysler, will be the possible partner, guessed analysts. Under the agreement, Chrysler will export a series of Chery-made Dodge-branded mini cars to foreign countries. These cars will be sold in Latin America in the first year and expected to go on sale in the US and Western Europe before the end of 2009. The tie-up with Chery Automobile can help Chrysler drive down its money infusion, noted Mr. Manley. The company, whose 80.1 percent stake was acquired by the US private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP at a price of USD 7.4 billion, also permitted some Austrian and Taiwanese companies to produce its car models. In addition, it is in talks with related authorities in Russia, in a bid to make sedans in the country and drive up its presence. Headquartered in New York, Cerberus owns affiliated and advisory offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Osaka, and Taipei. It finished the stake acquisition deal with DaimlerChrysler AG on August 3, 2007. Bob Nardelli was named to lead the newly created Chrysler LLC.
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