DETROIT -- Chrysler may match General Motors' offer giving all U.S. car buyers the same discounts its employees get if GM extends the promotion beyond next week, a newspaper said on Wednesday.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Detroit News said the U.S. arm of DaimlerChrysler had told its national dealer council on Tuesday it could make a similar offer as early as next Monday if GM extends its promotion through July.
GM, the world's largest automaker, has seen customer traffic soar since it announced the offer on June 1. The offer is due to end on July 5 but GM's North American marketing chief has been quoted as saying it might be prolonged.
Chrysler spokesman Jason Vines confirmed that the GM consumer incentives program was discussed with the dealer council, but he said the automaker would not necessarily follow in GM's footsteps.
"We're looking at every option," Vines told Reuters.
"We could announce a new (incentives) campaign as early as Friday or as late as Monday or Tuesday," he added. "What we don't want to do is match the fire sale mentality."
The success of the GM offer -- expected to be confirmed by June U.S. sales numbers on Friday -- is forcing rivals to take a look at how to defend share in the world's biggest and most fiercely competitive car market.
Dan Bedore, a spokesman at GM's crosstown rival Ford Motor Co., said "that's not in the works right now" when asked if the No. 2 U.S. automaker was considering matching the employee discount program.
"We are going to watch the market," he said.