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Chrysler To Set Caps, Send Fewer Cars To Rental Fleets

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Chrysler, at least for a time earlier this year, was sending nearly three out of every five of its new vehicles to commercial and government fleets.

According to Automotive News, citing information from the company, Chrysler sent a jaw-dropping 58 percent of its vehicles to fleets just in February. Overall, in recent months, about 40 percent of Chrysler's sales have gone to rental fleets, where the 2010 Chrysler Sebring Convertible and Sebring sedan models are among stalwart offerings.

But the automaker hopes to soon change that; Chrysler's goal is to set caps and bring the proportion down to about 25 percent.

Vehicles sold to fleets are generally done so at a deep discount relative to retail sales, and fleet sales at such a high level tend to negatively affect resale value.

The Car Connection hasn't found the Sebring to be very competitive in the crowded mid-size sedan field in the past, but we're planning to revisit the model soon with a follow-up drive. In our Bottom Line on the Sebring, we say: "An impressive feature set and a reasonable price can’t keep the 2010 Chrysler Sebring Convertible and sedan from mediocrity."

Chrysler earlier this week said it lost $3.8 billion from June 10 to the end of last year, but the company made money from vehicle sales so as to post a new loss of only $197 million. The automaker also grew its market share from 8.1 percent in 2009 to 9.1 percent so far this year.

With the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee arriving this year, as well as a new Dodge Charger late in the year, then more new products integrated with Fiat's product portfolio on the way, the automaker hopes to break even next year.

[Automotive News; USA Today]

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