Chrysler Group released year-end monthly sales incentives on Tuesday. Most were the normal stuff you would expect from a company trying to move metal before a new year rolls around.
But one of Chrysler's lesser-advertised incentives this month is steeped in so much personal pique it should come with its own dueling glove.
The automaker added an extra $1,000 in conquest cash on the hood of all but three of its products for current owners of … wait for it … Volkswagens.
I know, right? It's hard to believe that a company run by Sergio Marchionne would add an extra spiff to steal customers directly from a company run by Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech. I just can't understand how two men who get along so famously … (Oh, forget it. There's only so much sarcasm I can inject into one sentence before my keyboard locks up.)
Marchionne and Piech have been trading verbal punches for years. Earlier this year, Volkswagen demanded Marchionne resign as the rotating head of the European automotive lobbying group ACEA. In Paris in September, Marchionne did everything but call VW execs outside for a fistfight.