There had been speculation that Chrysler’s sale to a private equity group would see the deal ended or substantially renegotiated.
Chrysler group president and CEO Tom LaSorda joined Chery Automobile chairman and president Yin Tongyue met on Wednesday to sign off on the deal, approved by Chinese governmental authorities from the State Development and Reform Commission at a ceremony in Beijing’s Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.
Under the agreement, Chery, based in Wuhu, Anhui Province, and Chrysler will work together to develop, manufacture and distribute Chery-made small and sub-compact cars in North America, Europe and other major automotive markets under the Chrysler Group brands.
“This is a win-win for both of our companies, and I am confident this will be a successful relationship,” said Yin. “Chrysler brands are very well known in the US and Europe. We’re prepared to work with Chrysler Group to expand their small-vehicle lineup with competitive products and accelerate both our companies’ international competitiveness.”
Chrysler will identify several small-car models now being developed by Chery in China and work collaboratively to make any necessary branding and regulatory modifications prior to their entry into other markets. Both companies also will jointly develop new globally competitive products based on future Chery small-car platforms.
Strategic growth in international markets – while defending market share in North America – is an important part of Chrysler’s recovery and transformation plan, the company reiterated on Wednesday.
“This is the start of a very long relationship between Chrysler and Chery,” said LaSorda. “Chery’s participation in this agreement and their focus on small and sub-compact cars will have a nearly immediate effect on Chrysler Group’s offerings in the small-vehicle segments. This strategic partnership is part of a new business model that is allowing us to introduce all-new products more quickly, with less capital spending.”
Chrysler’s relationship with China began 25 years ago when it formed Beijing Jeep, the first international automotive joint venture in the country.