Will Chrysler soon carry the "Made in China" label? The world's fifth-biggest carmaker is trying to work out an agreement to build cars in China and export them to the United States. According to a company executive, DaimlerChrysler is holding the discussion with one of its Chinese partners. The decision on whether to go ahead is due in the second half of 2005.

If Daimler and the unspecified partner decide to proceed, the automaker would be the first Western player to consider export-oriented factories in China. Japan's Honda Motor Co. is already building cars for export in China.

"We would like to establish here in China an export joint venture for Chrysler products," Ruediger Grube, head of the carmaker's Chinese business told reporters on the sidelines of the Shanghai auto show. "Today we are not talking about Europe. We are talking about North America."

Car manufacturers worry that cheap made-in-China cars will someday swamp the automobile markets, especially with vehicle sales growth declining.

The United States and other developed economies have complained that cheap Chinese goods are threatening U.S. industry and millions of manufacturing jobs.