Grouped by brand
The incentives are grouped by brand, illustrating the growing independence in strategies for Chrysler's four vehicle lines. For instance, Dodge has added a variety of consumer cash, financing and lease discount options. But Jeep added only $1,000 consumer cash on all vehicles but the Wrangler.
Earlier this month, Chrysler announced a five-year plan that predicts the automaker will break even on an operating basis in 2010 and on a net basis by 2011. The forecast is based in part on restoring market share lost in its slide toward a government-directed bankruptcy this spring.
Chrysler has relied on more aggressive incentives than rivals during the downturn. Consumer auto site Edmunds.com has said the true cost of Chrysler incentives in October was about $3,219 per vehicle sold, compared with a $2,468 industry average.
About 88 percent of the automaker's current dealer inventory is 2010 models.
By comparison, Ford Motor Co. has said 90 percent of its inventory is 2010 models. At General Motors, 52 percent of its inventory is 2010 models, Susan Docherty, vice president of U.S. sales, said this week.
'Aggressive' ad campaign
Chrysler also is creating what it termed an “aggressive” ad campaign. “This campaign's intent is aimed at driving a message on product, features and accolades into the marketplace and traffic into your showroom,” the company said in a message to dealers. “The residual effect of the campaign will also let the public know that Chrysler is alive and well.”
Bob Shuman, owner of Shuman Chrysler-Jeep in Walled Lake, Mich., praised the incentives.
“It's a very, very strong program,” Shuman said. “I think it's tremendous. We need it.”
Chrysler's sales declined 30 percent in October and 39 percent through the first 10 months of 2009 for the worst slide of any major automaker. Edmunds.com this week predicted the company was in for a similar November, forecasting a 35 percent decline.
Chrysler also told dealers they will get a new “objective-based dealer cash program” of up to $1,500 per vehicle. As of this morning, Chrysler had not yet told dealers what their objectives would be.
Reuters contributed to this report