Partnerships between American and Chinese carmakers are nothing new, but only in the recent past has there been talk of Chinese-manufactured cars being imported into North America. Chrysler is one of the most determined American carmakers seeking to launch a Chinese-manufactured car in the U.S., even going so far as to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) last year with China’s Great Wall Motor (GWM).
The original MoU was for the exploration of long-term business ties between the two carmakers in various areas including distribution, components and technology, and presaged the current deal. The deal was part of Chrysler’s greater strategy to increase its operations in overseas markets, especially in emerging countries like China. But then the financial crisis hit and vehicle sales around the globe started to dive. As a result, GWM has ended talks with Chrysler and even described the process as a “waste of time”.
Speaking with Automotive News, GWM president Wang Fengying said his company plans to focus on its own businesses and isn’t looking for any partnerships. He also said both Chrysler and GWM are better off focusing on their immediate priorities.
GWM is one of China’s leading businesses and is the largest privately owned carmaker in the country. It specializes in SUV and utility models but has recently expanded into the MPV and small hatch markets, and is already exporting vehicles to Europe.
Chrysler also had close ties with rival Chinese carmaker Chery Auto, but late last year both firms also decided to end negotiations.