Tokyo: Chrysler Llc., the US auto maker most dependent on the domestic market, plans to form a production venture in India because ofrising vehicle sales in the world’s second most populous country.
“India is our second highest priority after China,” Philip Murtaugh, Chrysler’s head of Asia operations, said in an interview on Wednesday. The firm aims to find a local partner for the venture, which is unlikely to start production before 2010, he added.
n analyst says Chrysler’s smallest car, the Dodge Neon (right), is too big for the Indian market
Overseas automakers, led by Suzuki Motor Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co., have raised output in India as economic growth makes cars affordable to more people.
Chrysler aims to sell half the vehicles it makes outside of North America, compared with 8% last year, president Jim Press said on 16 October, without giving a time frame.
“It’s a challenge to find the right partner, so it will take a while,” said Ashvin Chotai, a London-based automotive analyst at Global Insight Inc. “It’s the sensible thing to do, since they don’t have the right product” at present. Chrysler’s smallest car, the Dodge Neon, is too big for the Indian market, he added. Chrysler is yet to approach potential partners, Murtaugh said.