Plans by Chinese automakers to enter the United States have largely fizzled.
Chery Automobile Co., through a deal to assemble cars for Chrysler LLC, stands a chance of entering the United States by 2011.
And Brilliance Jinbei Automotive Co., a small Chinese automaker, says it plans to sell cars in the United States in 2009.
But other Chinese import plans are in disarray.
Enthusiasm for Chinese vehicles was created mainly by hype from American promoters and wishful thinking from small Chinese automakers that were unaware of the difficulties of selling cars in the United States.
In July 2007, Tom LaSorda, then CEO of Chrysler, announced a deal in which Chery would assemble vehicles for Chrysler to sell in the United States. At the time, sources said the vehicles would arrive in America in mid-2009.
But since the announcement, Chrysler has revealed few details about its relationship with Chery. A major supplier to Chery says Chery has no definite timeline to begin exports to the United States for either Chery- or Chrysler-badged vehicles.
"We need small cars," LaSorda said in May. "Chery's cars are still not ready for that exposure into these markets." He said China-built cars probably won't be ready to meet U.S. safety and emissions standards for "three years or more."
By year end, Chery plans to start shipping its A1 small car to Mexico, where it will be sold with a Chrysler brand. Chrysler and Chery also are creating a vehicle for developing markets that will not be sold in North America.
Also in Mexico, a major Chinese automaker, China FAW Group Corp., says it will operate a plant there. In December FAW established a joint venture with a Mexican partner to produce by 2010 two FAW-badged small cars for Mexico and Central America.