|April 2006 |
US Subcompact Sales
Autoweek reports that the Chrysler group is considering hiring China’s Chery Automobile Co. to assemble a B-segment car (subcompact) for sale in international markets. Chrysler would sell the car under the Dodge or Chrysler brand, according to a variety of unnamed sources.
Eric Ridenour, COO of the Chrysler group, had earlier told Automotive News that Chrysler is talking with as many as three automakers about assembling a small car for the US—one of them being Volkswagen. Chrysler declined to confirm the Chery rumor, and has in the past stated that it would not import cars from China into the US.
At the Geneva auto show in March, Dodge showed a subcompact concept car called the Hornet (earlier post), which could be sold in North America, Europe and other markets. The B-segment Hornet is smaller than the 2007 Dodge Caliber, the brand’s smallest vehicle.
The sub-compact segment is revving up in the US, given rising fuel and oil prices. Toyota’s new Yaris made its sales debut last month and posted 6,393 units; the Scion xA (also produced by Toyota) saw its sales climb 25% from April 2005 to 3,331 for April 2006. The new Honda Fit, in its second month of sales, posted 3,792 units.
The Chevrolet Aveo, which, until the arrival of the Yaris was the best-selling sub-compact, saw its sales drop 18% in April to 4,745 units. The Aveo is built by GM Daewoo, a South Korean subsidiary of General Motors.