Chinese automaker Chery wants to re-examine a deal to build Chrysler-branded small cars following the sale to Cerberus, a German newspaper said on Monday.

According to The Associated Press (AP), Chery Automobile general manager Zhang Li told financial daily Handelsblatt the company has halted the project and wants to renegotiate its agreement on building a new compact car for Chrysler.

The decision, the paper reported, came after DaimlerChrysler agreed last week to sell its money-losing Chrysler Group to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP in a EUR5.5bn ($US7.41bn) deal.

According to AP, Zhang said the deal came as a “total surprise” for his company and it had not yet talked with Cerberus about the move.

“We continue to be in talks with Chrysler, but we don’t have any contact with the new owners yet,” Handelsblatt reportedly quoted Zhang as saying.

DaimlerChrysler spokeswoman Mary Gauthier told the Associated Press that global growth remained an important aspect of Chrysler’s transformation and recovery plan, adding that the sale to Cerberus had not changed those goals.