DETROIT -- DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler unit said on Monday that it was extending interest-free financing deals on most of its vehicles through Sept. 2.
The 0 percent loans, for up to 60 months, will be offered in conjunction with what Chrysler described in a statement as its single largest national sales program, a three-month advertising campaign that automaker said would cost it about $100 million.
The campaign, dubbed the "Summer Sales Drive," will include more than two dozen new 30-second TV ads, new radio spots and a new national print campaign, Chrysler said.
In addition to free financing on most Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles, the company said it would also continue offering cash rebates totaling as much as $4,500 on some new cars and light trucks.
The advertising and incentives campaign comes against the backdrop of cutthroat competition in the auto industry, which has seen a renewed and costly incentives push in recent months as automakers seek to prop up sagging sales and offset the effects of the sluggish U.S. economy.
Jim Schroer, who resigned as Chrysler's top marketing and sales executive last Friday, had been a leading critic of big rebates and cheap financing deals, saying they were destroying the profitability of Detroit's automakers.