CHENGDU, Sichuan – Chrysler Group (China) Sales Co., Ltd. (Chrysler China) and Southeast (Fujian) Motor Co., Ltd. (Southeast Motor) jointly announced on September 21 the launch of the locally produced Chrysler Grand Voyager at the Chengdu Motor Show 2007.
Having a price tag of ¥319,000 ($42,000), the standard 3.3L variant is about ¥10,000 cheaper than the imported version.
“The Chrysler Grand Voyager is the first MPV model co-produced by Southeast Motor and Chrysler China. As a flagship model of luxury commercial vehicles, the Grand Voyager will be the best choice for business people after its production localization,” said Zhang Minglin, executive vice president of Southeast Motor.
As Southeast Motor’s independent sales channel for Chrysler models has not yet been completed, the Grand Voyager will still be distributed by Chrysler dealerships.
Industry analysts predict that the Grand Voyager will potentially be a strong competitor to the dominant Buick GL8 of Shanghai-GM in the Chinese market.
In September 2005, Tom LaSorda, then president and CEO of the Chrysler Group, announced the company’s plan to license Southeast Motor to produce the Chrysler MPV in Fuzhou. The project got approval from the Ministry of Commerce in August 2006.
The Grand Voyager is one of the vehicles in the list of Chrysler’s new launches in China since the company has divorced Daimler. Other models in the list include the Jeep Compass, the Chrysler Sebring and the Dodge Caravan, which will also be produced in Southeast Motor’s facilities, according to earlier media reports.
The Grand Voyager and the Dodge Caravan will target different customers, with the latter one carrying a lower price tag for private use.
“We will launch another three models before next February,” said Simon Elliott, president and CEO of Chrysler China.
Chrysler began to export the Grand Voyager series to China in late 2002, and its sales volume reached 10,000 units in 2005.