A customer could get as much as $9,000 off the suggested retail price by trading in a vehicle eligible for the federal program for a new vehicle with the incentives.
Fong told dealers Chrysler decided to roll the program out before the end of July to lift sales, which had been lagging after a June spurt that followed Chryslers exit from bankruptcy June 10.
A lot of dynamics in June werent going to be repeated in July, he said. It didnt appear we were having a very good July.
Chryslers ad agency, BBDO, worked on national TV advertising that will debut Friday, Fong said. Also, print ads will appear in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.
Vehicles not included in Chryslers offer are the Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Challenger and Sprinter and all SRT products.
Chrysler emerged from six weeks of Chapter 11 reorganization on June 10 and now is controlled by Italian automaker Fiat S.p.A. Through the first half of the year, Chryslers U.S. sales plummeted 45.7 percent to 471,197 vehicles.
Expires Nov. 1
The cash-for-guzzlers legislation, also known as cash for clunkers, is designed to help lift U.S. light-vehicle sales from 27-year lows. It provides vouchers of $3,500 to $4,500 to consumers who trade in their rides for new vehicles that are more fuel efficient. Congress allocated $1 billion to fund the program, which expires Nov. 1.
New cars eligible for the federal incentive must have combined highway and city fuel economy of at least 22 mpg and smaller light trucks must have combined fuel economy of at least 18 mpg. New vehicles must have a suggested retail price of $45,000 or less.
Trade-ins eligible for cash-for-guzzlers must be drivable, less than 25 years old and have combined fuel economy of 18 mpg or less. They must have been continuously insured and registered to their owners for at least one year.
Chrysler had told dealers that its current incentives would last through July. But some retailers said they believed customers were holding out in hopes of getting more money for their old vehicles under the cash-for-guzzlers program.
Said Chrysler spokeswoman Kathy Graham: We were hearing from a lot of people who thought they could buy with cash-for-clunkers but then realized for one reason or another their car didnt qualify. We looked at putting an incentive package together that appealed to everybody.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is drawing up rules for the program and is scheduled to release them by the end of the week.