NEW YORK –Group is considering further investment in China, a top executive confirms.
Chief Operating Officer Thomas LaSorda says investment options will be presented to’s management board some time over the next six months.
Chrysler's Tom Lasorda says bubble isn’t about to burst in China.
Speaking to a small group of reporters here, LaSorda sounds cautiously optimistic about business opportunities in China, where Chrysler was the first major auto company to open a plant – a Jeep-building joint venture with Beijing Automotive Industry Corp.
"We do not believe China is a bubble about to burst," he says. "I will be spending more time on China (in the future)."
Chrysler doesn’t have a lot invested in China at the moment, Lasorda says, though he declines to specify the amount of its investment. As a result, he says he isn’t concerned about the recent decline in vehicle demand in China during April and May.
"Our downside (in China) is limited," he says. Competitors with more than one plant in China would be much more affected if sales slip a lot, he adds.
LaSorda also notes that Chrysler quality in China – like that of its competitors – is improving. However, he is cautious about using China as a source for components to be used in North American vehicles, in part because shipping costs make importing heavy components from China impractical.
"It doesn't make sense to ship castings from China," he says.