Admitting it has lost market momentum in recent weeks, Chrysler has announced a new sales incentive program, but the number-three automaker has consciously decided to keep its cash-back awards smaller than those from either General Motors or Ford Motor Co. "We're not giving up any more market share around here," declared Jim Schroer, sales and marketing chief for DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group. The new package offers consumers up to $2,500 on a variety of vehicles, including minivans and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. That's on top of the new seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty Chrysler recently introduced. But together, Schroer revealed to TheCarConnection that the American automaker is spending four points less on its new incentive package than it did a year ago, when the industry's rebate run-up first began. Chrysler will kick off the new program with a weekend ad blitz. It will run through February 28th, though Schroer admitted Chrysler would extend the incentives, if necessary, to respond to its competition.
Chrysler Locks in Product Program by Joseph Szczesny (1/21/2002)
FORD DEFENDING MUSTANG SAFETY
1999 Ford Mustang Cobra ConvertibleEnlarge Photo
HYUNDAI HCD-7 CONCEPT FOR
2002 Hyundai hCD-7 ConceptEnlarge Photo
HONDA MODEL X AT NEW YORK
Honda Model X concept Tokyo 2001Enlarge Photo
MALIBU GOES MULTIPURPOSE?
General Motors Corp. is planning to build not one but two versions of its mid-size Chevrolet Malibu. Gene Stefanyshyn, GM's mid-size passenger car vehicle line executive, said Thursday that GM planned to unveil the next version of the Malibu next year, and will build it in Fairfax, Kan. The new Malibu will be aimed at the traditional buyers of Chevrolet sedans who are looking for a "three-box sedan," but the Fairfax plant also will be equipped to build an "extended version" of the Malibu, Stefanyshyn said. The extended version of the Malibu will have nearly six more inches of wheelbase and will be aimed at more affluent buyers, he added, but he refused to comment on speculation about whether it will a station wagon. "It's not a crossover," and GM isn't calling it a station wagon either, said Stefanyshyn. Stefanyshyn also said GM will concentrate all of the W-car (Century, Regal, Grand Prix, Impala and Monte Carlo) production, at the company's assembly complex in Oshawa, Ont., he said.—Joseph R. Szczesny