Small cars are the future of automotive transport, at least as long as fuel consumption and traffic are a concern. To that end, Chrysler decided to team up with Chery, a Chinese car manufacturer, to save on development costs. The first car to come of the trans-pacific union will be a re-badged Chery A1.

The re-branded Chery will first go on sale in Mexico ‘very soon’ as a Dodge, and will also come to the U.S. in 2009 once emissions and safety testing is complete. The car is quite inexpensive in its homeland at around US$7,000. Bringing the car to America will likely increase the cost somewhat, but even after a hike to defray the higher testing and advertising costs of the U.S. market, the price could realistically stay under US$10,000, a number that is backed up by previous reports from July.

The previously on-again, off-again relationship between Chrysler and Chery had been delayed because the American company didn’t feel any of Chery’s current production was up to Chrysler’s standards, and then the sale of Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management put things on hold for a while. We don’t know what has changed, but it seems the two have worked out their differences, and North Americans will be reaping the rewards in the form of a small, inexpensive car within the next year.