DETROIT -- The Chrysler side of DaimlerChrysler AG said on Monday it was raising its consumer incentives, after posting a 12 percent drop in January U.S. auto sales.
Chrysler executives have long complained about Detroit's escalating price war, and the deep discounts that General Motors Corp. introduced in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.
But GM and Ford Motor Co. both raised their incentives last week. And Chrysler spokesman Marc Henretta said the company was following suit by adding $500 to the cash rebates on its Dakota and Ram heavy-duty pickup trucks.
The added cash boosts rebates on the Dakota to $3,000 in most parts of the United States and to a maximum of $2,00O on the Ram, Henretta said.
Henretta said Chrysler was also offering a cut-rate six-year loan for Dakotas and a deal that would waive lease payments on many vehicles if holders of the leases buy or lease a new Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge car or truck.
Ford pioneered low-rate six-year financing deals late last year, as a way to make vehicles affordable to a wider range of customers, and GM offered a few similar deals last month.
The so-called lease pullahead program is valid for all leases that expire from March to the end of May, company officials said.
Chrysler's January sales results were the weakest among Detroit's automakers.