Although the present automotive market may be a bad time for Dodge to launch the new 2009 Ram, it may well be the perfect time for the automaker to launch the Hornet subcompact.
In a recent interview with Financial Times Deutschland, Thomas Hausch, Chrysler's vice-president of design, mentioned the company was "working intensely" on moving the Hornet - originally shown at the 2006 Geneva motor show - into production.
"I think we will announce something on this in the future," Hausch said.; He also suggested the Hornet could be sold in both Europe and the United States.
Such a product may be beneficial to Chrysler, particularly in the wake of $4-a-gallon gasoline in the U.S.; High fuel costs have brought sales of full-size trucks to their knees, a worrisome fact since the automaker is wagering its success on the introduction of the all-new 2009 Ram pickup.
Previous reports indicated that Chinese automaker Chery was working with Chrysler to introduce a Chinese-built subcompact on American shores.; However, Chery has since indicated it wants to renegotiate the agreement to provide the cars, leaving that deal's future in doubt.
Instead, there may be a chance that much of the Hornet's mechanicals - perhaps even platform - could stem from Nissan.; Chrysler entered a pact with the Japanese company earlier this year; Chrysler plans to provide Nissan with a Ram-based pickup, while receiving a small car, slated for production in Mexico, from Nissan.
Source: Automotive News