Even if the companies came to an agreement today, the product would not be on sale until late 2009 or 2010, according to George Peterson, president of the consulting firm Auto Pacific in Tustin. “They do need a bigger SUV to battle against the GM Suburban, GMC Yukon EL and and Ford Expedition EL,” he said. “That’s a class of vehicle that has really been maligned here for the last decade, but people love driving them.” Chrysler’s big SUV is the Aspen, which comes with a 5.7-liter engine and an MSRP of $31,490. Lately, SUV sales have softened, partly because of high gas prices. Californians may be more sensitive to gas prices because the state’s clean air laws require expensive blends of gasoline, making the cost higher in this state. At Simi Valley Chrysler Jeep Dodge, general manager Salem Naout says it is difficult to predict how a big SUV from Chrysler would do. “There’s no telling, really,” Naout said. “It’s all in the marketing.” The New York Times contributed to this article. [email protected] (818) 713-3735160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Rumors are flying in the auto world. Perhaps General Motors Corp. will just collaborate with Chrysler rather than consume it. A day before a trade magazine reported GM was in talks to acquire Chrysler, The New York Times said the two troubled auto giants were considering joining forces to make a big sport utility vehicle. “Whether it competes is going to depend on the quality and the price point,” said Scott Filippi, general manager at David Ellis Chrysler in Canoga Park. News of discussions between the automakers follows Chrysler’s announcement that it will cut 13,000 jobs, prompting talk that it could split with DaimlerChrysler.