The president of Chery Automobile Co. poured more cold water last week on plans to sell vehicles in the United States.
"We have investigated U.S. consumers, but entering the U.S. market is like swimming in water that is too deep: We are scared of drowning," Yin Tongyaon told a Reuters reporter at an industry forum in Beijing.
"We need more time to prepare," he added. "U.S. technology and U.S. consumer habits are too different."
Yin declined to say exactly when Chery might enter the United States. "There are still things at home we haven't finished off," he said.
Under the ambitious plans of Malcolm Bricklin, Chery's aspiring U.S. distributor, Chery will start selling as many as five vehicles in 2007. Bricklin also has had trouble recruiting U.S. dealers.
But Chery engineers have told Automotive News that Bricklin has provided neither money nor specifications to develop vehicles for the United States.
The engineers and Chery suppliers said, however, that the automaker still could have three vehicles ready in 2007.