Posted Sep 16, 2005, 11:6 AM by Mike Aberlich
Category: China Strategy
I’m writing to you today from Beijing—the third stop on a swing through Taiwan and China where Chrysler Group president and CEO Tom LaSorda announced some major developments that are sure to give us a huge boost in both countries.
Today’s big blast is the announcement of a new joint venture to build the Chrysler 300C here in China. Teaming up with our long time partner Beijing Automotive Industry Corp., we’ve created BeijingBenz-DaimlerChrysler Automotive Ltd., with the intention of building the car. In fact, construction’s already started on a new plant where we intend to build the 300C. You’ve all reported just how popular the 300C is, but I’ve gotta tell you, this new deal aimed at building them here should say to everyone, Chrysler is gunning to expand its brands in the world’s fastest growing market. How happy are we? So happy Tom unveiled a giant moon cake, just like the traditional moon cakes given during the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival which takes place on the 18th. Moon cakes were first created during the Ming Dynasty when people hid secret notes in them, before their filling became popular. Hidden under the cake Tom presented was a tasty new 300C.
Yesterday in Fuzhou Tom announced a partnership with Southeast Motors (SEM) with the intention to build minivans here before the end of 2006. This is the first time we’ll be building a vehicle in China carrying anything but a Jeep ® though we haven’t yet decided how the minivans will be branded. On Wednesday, we announced a joint-venture to build minivans in Taiwan.
For those of you who weren’t able to join us on the trip and take part in the presentations. I want to let you know this is a major play for us in a vital, growing market, and SEM in Fuzhou is emerging as a pillar of our overall China strategy.
The three product programs represent a $350 million investment by the company and our partners. We look at this as the first step in a broader relationship that we hope will lead to some strong sales and profits in the region.
One more thing, the minivans and 300C’s aren’t coming back here…everything built in Taiwan and China is for the local market.
Mike Aberlich, Chrysler Group Communications
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