Nissan to Supply Chrysler with Small Car
By Brendan Moore
The rumors started in late December, went dormant for awhile, and then, ramped up like crazy yesterday. Now we have word that Nikkei of Japan is reporting today that Nissan has stated that it may indeed supply Chrysler with 30,000 Nissan Versa (known as the Tiida in Japan) compacts a year which Chrysler will re-brand as Chrysler or Dodge cars.
Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s third-largest auto manufacturer, would start supplying the cars to Chrysler as early as 2008 calendar year. The 1.8 liter Versa that is sold in the United States currently is built in Mexico, and it is assumed that the extra Versas that would go to Chrysler would also be built there, but that is unknown at this point.
The Nikkei report stated that Nissan, in which Renault SA holds a 44 percent stake, seeks to achieve economies of scale by increasing its production of the compact model, while Chrysler aims to expand its line-up of smaller, more fuel-efficient models amid higher gasoline prices (see Nissan and Chrysler May Swap Product 12.19.2007).
Nissan introduced the Versa to the North American market in 2006. They sold 79,443 Versas in the U.S. in 2007.
UPDATE 01.11.2007, 7:51 AM: The car in question will be re-badged and sold by Chrysler in South America. There are no plans to sell the re-badged car in the U.S.
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