China's Chery Automobile Co. Ltd will present its "Chery A1" model, the first collaboration with Chrysler Group under the US-German carmaker DaimlerChrysler, in April at the auto exhibition in Shanghai, according to an announcement of Chery.
The "Chery A1" will be the first of at least six small vehicle models to be manufactured by Chery with the cooperation of Chrysler under their collaborative production plan for small vehicles.
The Chery A1 is an updated subcompact model of the Chery QQ, known as the "Chinese Beetle", with a 1.3-litre petrol engine designed to run at a top speed of 156 km/h. The new car, aimed at younger customers, is expected to sell for 40,000 to 65,000 yuan (US$5,000 to 8,125) on the Chinese market.
The Chrysler Group previously reached an agreement with Chery to distribute Chery-made small vehicles internationally to tap the small vehicle sector in the US more quickly with less capital spending.
The new model will probably be sold under the Chrysler brand, Dodge, in the North America market, Shanghai Securities News reported.
Established in east China's Anhui Province in 1997, Chery is one of the few Chinese companies that successfully produce their own models rather than manufacturing foreign brands under licence.
The company was the country's seventh largest auto maker and fourth largest producer of sedans in 2006. It exported over 50,000 vehicles last year, up 178 percent over the pervious year.
(Xinhua News Agency March 15, 2007)