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A Dodge Polo? Only in America

VW and Chrysler talk about partnership for small car

Jason Stein

Harald Hamprecht

Automotive News / January 23, 2006 - 6:00 am

Chrysler’s US muscle brand Dodge could get a new entry-level car for North America – based on the Volkswagen Polo.

Chrysler, the North American division of DaimlerChrysler, wants a small-segment car in the US to better react to the trend toward small, fuel-efficient vehicles there.

The two companies finalized a deal at the Detroit auto show earlier this month for Chrysler group to build a US-market minivan for VW in 2008.

Chrysler executives confirmed at the show that the two companies are talking about further cooperation, but declined to give more details.

Mexico production?

“It would not be necessary, but welcome if we could offer a B [small car]-segment model for Dodge,” DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche told Automotive News Europe. “There are a number of potential options for such a model. VW is one of them and it is still open.”

Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda said there are “a number of segments” that Chrysler wants to reoccupy.

“VW is a possible partner for further projects,” LaSorda said.

Chrysler sources who asked not to be identified said the Polo platform is one option for a Dodge small car. A decision will be made in the first half of this year.

Last year, VW group Chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder told the German magazine auto motor und sport that further cooperation with Chrysler beyond the minivan agreement “would certainly make sense.”

Frank Klegon, Chrysler’s development chief, said Chrysler also is currently in talks with Hyundai and Mitsubishi as possible partners.

The German press has speculated that a Dodge small car could be built at VW’s Puebla, Mexico plant, alongside a Polo sedan that VW is considering building there for the US market.

VW already builds the Beetle, Beetle convertible and Jetta sedan at the plant, whose 500,000 units-a-year capacity is underused.

VW will add a Golf hatchback and Golf station wagon at the plant later this year.

– Jens Meiners contributed

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That's a poor chop of the old Polo.

The new one is much beter looking, like a scaled down VW Golf.

Those two companies had better pray they've figured out quality/reliability.

Except for the next-generation Chrysler Sebring/Dodge Stratus and the Caliber, I thought that Chrysler was supposedly continuing its partnership with Mitsubishi in building small/midsize cars.

Seems as though Volkswagen has thrown a wrench into things, but, withou Schrempp, perhaps all previous plans have been scratched.

Check out allpar.com for some Chrysler updates as well as general information!

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Which ones? Daimler-Benz, or the newly intrusive Volkswagen AG?

Ooh, they make me all mad inside.

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Didn't the Dodge Omni start out as some kind of Volkswagen also?

Yes, they did. Early ones even had a VW engine before the 2.2L and 2.2L Turbo took over completely.

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Could be interesting. I wonder how much worse Chrylser will make the materials on the interior versus the Polo...

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Guest YellowJacket894

I'd bet the Dodge Hornet Concept is a preview of the upcoming subcompact. (Actually, you don't have to know rocket science to figure that out.)

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Well, I am already disappointed then.

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