Hoping to reverse a sales decline, Chrysler Corp. last week extended and increased the customer rebates on its Dodge, Plymouth and Chrysler minivans.
The payments apply to all 1996 and 1997 models until July 7. The rebates are $750 on short-wheelbase models and $1,000 on long-wheelbase choices.
The program began Wednesday, May 14. It replaced an offer of a free, sliding driver-side door. If that door was standard equipment on the model selected, the buyer received a rebate of $595.
In the first four months of this year, Chrysler minivan sales were down 5 percent from the corresponding period of 1996. Hardest hit was the Chrysler Town & Country, which suffered a decline of 19.9 percent.
In April, sales of the corporation's minivans fell 10.8 percent from last year.
Again, the Town & Country languished, with a setback of 24.5 percent. April sales were off 9.2 percent for the Dodge Caravan and 6.4 percent for the Plymouth Voyager.