Officials from DaimlerChrysler have confirmed that the company is in talks with other carmakers, including China’s Chery Automobile, over a possible deal to supply small cars sourced from China or other low-cost producers to the US. Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda also told reporters at the Beijing auto show that the company is discussing production plans for a subcompact car with two Chinese companies.

The Detroit News reports that the move is actually part of DaimlerChrysler's campaign to push for concessions on health care in the US that has been denied to Chrysler, unlike GM and Ford. Any talks of moving production offshore are sure to upset the United Auto Workers union and sends a clear message that they need to be more flexible. It just goes to show how hopelessly out of touch the unions are and how much they’re hurting the car companies.

The new import would likely be sold as an entry-level Dodge subcompact and would fill the void of Chrysler’s lack of both an a- or b-segment car in its portfolio. Experts agree that it’s only a matter of time until we start to see a flurry of imports coming from China, which could possibly lead to a global shift for both European and US carmakers to move to low-cost countries.