LAS VEGAS -- Opting not to increase cash incentives, the Chrysler group instead is launching a year-end promotion that offers two years' worth of free gasoline and scheduled maintenance, as well as an extended mechanical warranty.
"Customers are somewhat overwhelmed by traditional rebates," said George Murphy, senior vice president for global brand marketing. "We tested a traditional year-end campaign, a traditional year-end blowout, and it didn't cut through the clutter."
Chrysler's "Miles of Freedom" program runs from Monday, Nov. 21, through Jan. 3. It was revealed to dealers at meetings here on Thursday.
The program offers:
Excluded from the program are the 2005 and 2006 Chrysler 300; Dodge Viper, Magnum, Charger and Sprinter; and all SRT8 vehicles.
Customers can choose existing Chrysler rebates instead of the program, Murphy said. Those rebates range from $500 to $5,500 cash back on 2005 and 2006 models. The existing rebates are scheduled to end on Nov. 30.
The move counters new programs launched this week by rivals General Motors and Ford Motor Co. GM's "Red Tag" offers consumers vehicles at prices slightly higher than the supplier discounted price. Ford's "Keep It Simple" plan rolls discounts and rebates into a new bottom-line price on vehicle stickers.
Julie Roehm, Chrysler director of marketing communications, said TV commercials for the program start Sunday, Nov. 20, followed by newspaper ads beginning with a page in USA Today on Monday, Nov. 21.
Roehm said the plan tested well in its ability to bring new shoppers into Chrysler showrooms: "The point of this is to really drive traffic -- hopefully, driving traffic that we don't typically see."
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