BEIJING, May 1 (Xinhua) -- The bankruptcy protection filing of U.S.-based vehicle maker Chrysler will have little impact on China's market, as the company has a very small market share, an auto expert told Xinhua on Friday.
Huang Yonghe, chief expert of China Automotive Technology & Research Center, said imported Chrysler automobiles and the company's original equipment manufacturer vehicles are sold in China, but the U.S. company now has no joint venture here.
The company sells about 20,000 units in China every year. That compares with total annual sales of nearly 9.4 million units nationwide in 2008.
He said the bankruptcy protection filing Thursday does not mean Chrysler will go out of business. Under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the company will be able to continue operations, with its securities trading as usual, but it must get court approval for major operational adjustments and submit reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
He noted that many U.S. companies enter Chapter 11 to cut costs or restructure while the court delays the claims of creditors. Some successfully reorganize and return to profitability.
Chrysler LLC was the first foreign auto maker to set up a joint venture in China. In 1983, the company established the Beijing Jeep Co. Ltd., but this was later taken over by Daimler-Chrysler in 1998.
The U.S. company only has a sales unit in China, which deals with issues such as brand and import management, distribution network and sales services.
John Kett, president for Chrysler's Asia operations, said at the just-concluded Shanghai 2009 Auto Expo that China plays a key role in the company's medium- and long-term plan. The company will continue looking for partners in the country and introducing new products and technology to Chinese counterparts.