Bricklin Won’t Sell Chinese Cherys in U.S.

Malcolm Bricklin is apparently being forced to revise his plans for bringing a Chinese-made car into theUnited States.


Ever since Bricklin began promoting his plans for Visionary Vehicles two years ago, he has identified his Chinese partner as Chery Automobile. However, the alliance with Chery has been rather informal and now with Chery deep into discussions with DaimlerChrysler about building a small car that could be exported from China to the U.S. and other key markets, Bricklin is scrambling to find other partners.


In fact, Bricklin gave one interview during Beijing Motor Show indicating the proposed alliance with Chery has all but collapsed.


Instead Bricklin is now talking with other Chinese Automakers, including two of the largest, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC) and First Auto Works (FAW). SAIC, China's largest automaker, is the principal partner of General Motors and also has a separate partnership with Volkswagen. In addition, it owns the rights to MG Rover and is pressing ahead with plans to building its export capacity with the blessing of the Chinese government, according to GM executives familiar with the SAIC's plans.


FAW, another major Chinese company, is a longtime partner of VW.


Geely, which identifies itself as China 's largest private automaker, also is being considered as potential partner.


"Malcolm will pick three partners in the first quarter of 2007, and I cannot stress enough that one of them may well ... be Chery," Wendy Tush, Visionary spokeswoman told the Reuters news agency. "We had a partnership and still very well may go forward with Chery, it's just that Chery will never be manufacturing all of Visionary's vehicles and cars," Tush said.


Bricklin is considered an innovator, having successfully launched the Subaru brand in the U.S. during the 1960s. He also managed to bring the inexpensive Yugo to the U.S. in the late 1980s. However, some of his other ventures, such as plans for a new sports car dubbed the Bricklin, never got off the ground.


Bricklin's China venture has generated an enormous amount of interest around the world because it would seemingly marry China 's penchant for low-cost manufacturing with the colorful entrepreneur's salesmanship. Bricklin has promised Visionary's vehicles would ultimately sell for 30 to 50 percent less than the cars now made by global manufacturers in other parts of the world.

Related Articles


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GM Unfazed by Chinese Partner’s Plans by Joseph Szczesny (11/20/2006)
GM not worried that SAIC will compete directly.


Dunne: Who’s Afraid of the Chinese Wolf? by Michael J. Dunne (3/27/2006)
Make no mistakes — the Chinese are coming on four wheels.


Chinese Cars Coming to Detroit by TCC Team (12/26/2005)
First China
car planned for auto-show debut, more to follow.

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