Dodge Hornet Concept

DaimlerChrysler AG’s Chrysler unit says it will name it’s sub-compact car partner by the end of the 2006. Chrysler is in talks with a few partners right now, but nothing is concrete yet. Chrysler CEO Eric Ridenour says to think of them as “semi-finalists”, but refused to reveal who it is talking to.

Chrysler wants to make a new sub-compact car to market globally, including in the United States. It needs a partner because it has not much expertise in making small cars, and there is a huge investment involved in designing, manufacturing and marketing a new car. Chrysler’s new sub-compact car could take on the styling cues of the 2006 Dodge Hornet Concept (picture above), shown at the 2006 Geneva Auto Show.

Previously, there were rumours that this partner would be Chery Automobile, a Chinese automotive manufacturer. Subcompacts account for 1% of the overall US market currently, but it is expected to double in amount in the year 2007, as gas prices continue to rise. Sub-compacts are known to have frugal fuel consumption.