As GM and Ford entered '07, they swore on a stack of Kelly blue books that they were getting out of the business of churning out hundreds of thousands of crap cars for rental fleets and other bulk buyers. Every month, the domestics blamed their lowered market share and declining sales on this brave decision to turn their backs on churn and burn. Meanwhile, Chrysler did anything and everything to move the damn metal. Prior to the Daimler divorce, the automaker practiced epic channel stuffing (a.k.a. sending cars to dealers and abandoned airfields). And now it can be revealed that Chrysler is picking-up its Motown competitors' fleet slack on a similar scale. Last month, Chrysler told the world its sales had fallen by just 2.1 percent– a victory of sorts in a U.S. market that declined by around three percent. Yes but– CNN reports that Chrysler sent its dealers an internal memo revealing that retail sales fell by 16.5 percent. "In early October, when Chrysler reported its September sales results, U.S. sales chief Darryl Jackson noted that fleet sales were trending down more than 20% and that the decline was 'in line with our plan to reduce daily rental fleet during the second half of the year.'" Well, so much for that, then. In related news, we hear that Ford's honoring its pledge to cut back on fleet sales by giving the job to Mazda, accounting for the lion's share of their Japanese "partner's" reported growth.
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