Over the next three years, Chrysler LLC will get 12 vehicles spanning three segments from its partnership with China-based Chery Automobile Co. Ltd., says the CEO of Chrysler's Asia operations.

But against a backdrop of frenzied news coverage about China's growing auto industry, Phil Murtaugh recommends patience. While Chrysler and Chery are “making good progress” and no delays are foreseen, some of the early expectations for the partnership now appear “a bit simplistic and naive,” he tells Ward's.

Chery products are highly regarded in China, but they are “a bit further away from being ready for the U.S. market than Chery thought,” Murtaugh explains.

In addition, Chinese auto makers “are woefully unprepared to provide after-sales support in the U.S. They have no comprehension of what's required in this area.”

Murtaugh is unsettled by the expectations of an anxious public.

“(The media is) always saying, ‘What's going on? Why aren't you doing anything?’” Murtaugh says. “Well, it's a pretty big deal. Getting a little bit more into it, reality is setting in — both at Chery and Chrysler — (regarding) the scale of the task at hand. And it will take some time.”