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08-07-2008

DETROIT — Chrysler and Nissan Motor are reportedly talking about a tie-up involving midsize cars, The Wall Street Journal reports today. The automakers are already working together on pickups and subcompacts. If it came to fruition, such a deal could signal an end to carmaking for Chrysler, as the troubled company could choose to focus on developing trucks and SUVs and to sell passenger cars built by other companies.

The venture, the paper says — citing unnamed "people familiar with the matter" — would see Chrysler selling Nissan-produced midsize sedans badged as Chryslers in the U.S. market. This could be a version of the next-generation Altima, the sources say. Currently, Chrysler's Sebring and Dodge Avenger are its only sedan products.

More important, it would mean Chrysler would stop developing cars on its own and would focus on developing and building trucks, SUVs and minivans. The automaker is already preparing to sell a Nissan-made subcompact in the U.S. badged as a Chrysler early in the next decade and will soon sell cars built by Chery of China as well.

Chrysler had no comment to the Journal except to say, through a spokesman, that there are "no new alliances" ready for announcement.

What this means to you: This deal might be Chrysler's best shot at getting a Honda Accord/Toyota Camry fighter in the lineup.

LINK:Chrysler and Nissan Reportedly Exploring Momentous Midsize Car Deal
 
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