By on May 15, 2009

With an estimated 44k vehicles sitting on the lots of the 789 lame-duck Chrysler dealers, Mother Pentastar is going all-out to move metal. Although record incentives have already failed to make rain, the DetN reports that ChryCo will be sending “millions” of $1K vouchers to previous customers. Chrysler marketing seems not to have heard of the “fool me once” adage. The move shows that “recognizing the value of our customers has never been more important,” say the spokesfolks. “Chrysler is open for business and welcomes the opportunity to remind its customers just how valuable they are.” And isn’t it nice to know that the Treasury agrees? Too bad everyone’s waiting for a clunker-culling bill to buy. And who knows if/when that will happen. Anyway, will a grand tempt current owners? More to the point, what dumped Chrysler dealer would turn down $1K off a listed price to anyone at this point? Or do you haggle a dealer’s shirt off and then bring out the $1K coupon after you’ve broken the poor bastard’s spirit? Color me terrified of the crippling depression that must afflict anyone spending time at a ChryCo shop.

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26 Comments on “Chrysler: Take Our Cash . . . Please...”


  • avatar
    superbadd75

    Ugh. Being at a Chrysler store right now must really be painful. Even the ones that have survived cut #1 can’t have it all that good. Hopefully when the dead dealers walking finally go to the grave that will boost the living (on life support, though) dealers enough to make a difference.

  • avatar
    WildBill

    The “dead dealers” walking in our area have other lines they sell so not so sure they are willing to take a bath on the ChryCo. stuff, at least not yet, especially if they can unload them on someone else up the street that will likely take over the names they have to give up. The closest one also has Toyota on the same lot (how’s that for good planning!) and I’m betting the Ford/Dodge dealer less than 5 miles away will pick up the Chrysler/Jeep names and most of the inventory. Never the less, I wouldn’t want to be working at any of them right now.

  • avatar
    autoemployeefornow

    $1,000 just isn’t going to cut it. Maybe $5,000 would but you would really have to have a hard on for a Chrysler product right now. There can’t be too many people dying to buy a car from a bankrupt car dealer/company.

  • avatar
    ConspicuousLurker

    Man, imagine the feeling that your job or business is getting axed for the express purpose of keeping other people employed, with the help from your tax dollars, no less. It isn’t even a bureaucratic shell-game involving earmarks or tax incentives; you make out your tax check to the “United States Treasury” and the “other people” get a big, fat check from “United States Treasury.”

    It was going to happen regardless, and ultimately, it might be better for most involved. But given the number of people and the circumstances, a lot of people are going to be dealt a blow from which they will never recover.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    Crazy question, but will a dealer who accepts the $1000 voucher be waiting in line behind all of the other creditors to get that money reimbursed by Chrysler like all of those lemon-law customers left hanging with no cars and no money?

    Seems to me that any remaining dealers should ask for incentive cash up front before accepting any promise from Chrysler these days.

  • avatar
    Zammy

    Even before the uncertainty caused by the BK, and even before the impact of 800 “excessed” dealers, there was still too much depreciation on Chryslers for buying new to make a lot of sense.

    I think it would take something on the order of 30% to 40% off to get me to buy a new LX platform vehicle. It all depends on what 1-2 year old low mileage used examples are going for, and what sort of premium the buyer is willing to pay for the sake of the warranty and the privilege of putting the first 10k miles on it.

  • avatar
    WildBill

    Frankly, no amount of money would have gotten me into a Chrysler, even before all the recent “activity”. Got burned on an Omni and a Dakota and never went back.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    Let me know when Challenger RT or SRT’s hit $15k

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    Aren’t all of these cars floorplanned? If I were a recently closed dealer I would just declare bankruptcy and say F-off to Chrysler financial. Let them sell the cars.

  • avatar
    gossard267

    The clunker bill may end up hurting dealers pretty badly. Can you imagine being a salesperson at a dealership right now, when you /really/ need sales, only to hear the few people who might buy say, ‘Well, once they pass that clunker bill…’. The icing on the cake will be the bill’s ultimate failure to pass, blocked by a group of fiscal hawks and unsatisfied greens. By the time people realize it ain’t coming, or won’t apply to them, it may be way past ‘too late’ for many, many dealers and their employees.

  • avatar
    commando1

    Please. A lousy 1,000 bucks? That’s about 3% off on the average price over the vehicles collecting dust on the lots. Won’t even make a dent in the monthly payment.
    Now, 20% off….
    My butt would be in that showromm this afternoon.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    Having to drive a Dodge Durango Sport at work is enough disincentive to ensure that my form will never darken the door of a Chrysler dealership.

  • avatar
    jolo

    Wonder if someone can get 25 or 30 of those vouchers and get a car for free? Especially if you have tons of folks in your family who get them and they all go down to a dealership and get one of the graduating kids a new car. Anyone seen the details on these vouchers?

  • avatar
    Brian E

    Buy a Chrysler! If it’s a lemon, you might be out of your money *and* a car!

  • avatar
    BMWfan

    I haven’t looked at a Chrysler product since the clearcoat literally fell off my late 80’s truck a few years after purchase, and the bright boys in Chrysler management ignored my request for compensation. I called and wrote everybody. They ignored me. I am taking immense pleasure watching them self distruct. (Except for the workers of course) Why the Government ever gave them a nickel is beyond me. This incident is what drove me to foreign makes, and I have never looked back

  • avatar
    John R

    A grand? That’s it?

    Chrysis, allow me to explain to you how dire the situation is. You would have to offer an SRT-8 Challenger for $19k and not a penny more for me to even walk in the door. I’m serious. It’s Resident Evil time, baby, and the Zombies are at the door and crawling through the windows.

    Your whips need to be going out the door at 3% over cost. Period.

  • avatar
    AG

    The Elantra, Accent, Rio, and Spectra are the only cars I would put below the Sebring on my list of cars to buy. Price them to compete with those and you might be able to move a few. The rest are going to dealer auctions.

  • avatar
    Zammy

    John R : You would have to offer an SRT-8 Challenger for $19k and not a penny more for me to even walk in the door.

    This zombie isn’t that selfish. Show me an SRT-8 Challenger with a sunroof, navigation system, and government-backed lifetime guarantee for $22k and I’ll be there with checkbook in hand, no matter what the wife says.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Who’s doing the floorplanning these days?
    Does Chrysler Financial, GMAC, or a multiplicity of banks own this inventory?

    In any event this will be an inventory overhang for Government Motors because it will go thru the auctions and back to other dealers at prices well below what they could order from the factory for.

  • avatar
    mach1

    This reminds me of the old story about the guy walking the beach on a deserted island. He stumbles over a magic lamp and the genie appears. The genie grants him one wish instead of the usual three. The guy thinks long and hard and finally wishes to have “a major auto dealership in a large city”. The genie vanishes and our hero finds himself at a Chrysler dealership in Tokyo.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    BMWfan: “I am taking immense pleasure watching them self distruct.”I suspect this sentiment is shared by many people. At best, the majority is indifferent to the demise of any of the Big 2.8 due to not just one, but multiple bad past experiences with their products.

    Which is why it’s so curious that the federal govt is so quick to pour money (and lots of it) into saving them.

  • avatar
    Diablozx9

    Chrysler and GM have been doing it to themselves for years. Ford pulled up its game in the nick of time.

    How many years is GM going to keep selling the same 4 cylinder engine that eats head gadgets and makes the worst sound in the industry?

    Why cant Chrysler, with all those years of experience, make a trans-axle that lasts more than 5 years???

    If someone gave me a Chrysler for free,, I would just sell it. Dont trust them at all (Owned a Durango).

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    Diablozx9: GM hasn’t made that 4 Cyl. engine in years. The Ecotec has had a respectable history of being trouble free and is not known to have a problem blowing head gaskets.

    You’re thinking of the Quad Four. They aren’t related.

  • avatar
    The_Mase

    In all seriousness, does anyone know when these vouchers will be hitting mail boxes? I have owned an ’04 Sebring for the past 5+ years, and have been pretty happy with it. No major problems, and I’ve put over 100K miles on it. I wouldn’t mind looking at a new Challenger or something, if Chrysler is going to kick a grand at me.

  • avatar
    TheCarCzar

    For a fascinating insight on this evolving story, please use the link below to see what’s happening at Chrysler in real time at: http://twitter.com/Chrysler

    From twitter:

    1. Question: can dealer contest? Press: No appeal process less than 20 seconds ago from web

    2. Press: in some cases you’ll now have dealer with Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep under one roof.less than a minute ago from web

    3. Question: Any areas that won’t be represented? Landry: Can’t think of one2 minutes ago from web

    4. Question: Did you look at profitability? Landry: We stayed away from looking at profitability and working capital3 minutes ago from web

    5. Question: Does this change where your biggest presence is? Fairness on redistribution? Landry: We’ll have an organized approach.6 minutes ago from web

    6. Landry: No plans of (inventory) going to auction. Press: Sales are running ahead of plan.12 minutes ago from web

    7. Question: How much inventory with rejected inventory and how much will move? Landry: 44,000 units.13 minutes ago from web

    8. Landry: We really are working towards a new car company.14 minutes ago from web

    9. Landry; We’ll work with dealers on their parts inventory. One dealer can buy parts from another14 minutes ago from web

    10. Landry: Work with rejected dealers to redistribute their inventory16 minutes ago from web

    11. Landry: All of dealers being rejected…we’ll work with them..servicing them the same way..will pay incentives…service16 minutes ago from web

    12. Landry; My stomach still has a wrench in it today18 minutes ago from web

    13. Landry: This has been a gut wrenching process18 minutes ago from web

    14. Landry: We looked at minimum sales responsibility and scorecard. As of this week 62 percent of brands consol (CNX 34.39 ↓4.02%). under one roof.19 minutes ago from web

    15. Landry: It allows us to look at all of our dealer network and area where we’re underperforming.20 minutes ago from web

    16. Steven Landry, Exec. VP North Am. Sales & Marketing, Global Svc. & Parts: There’s no enough business for dealers with high…costs20 minutes ago from web

    17. Press: Dealer body is a key and will be strong and powerful.23 minutes ago from web

    18. Press: Allow us to achieve maximum prosperity and growth23 minutes ago from web

    19. Press:We hae a sense of sadness because we have to take these steps24 minutes ago from web

    20. Press: Process was rigorous25 minutes ago from web

    Learn more daily at http://carczarconsulting.com

  • avatar

    Since somebody had to do it, I looked up the price of the Dodge Challenger SRT8 which we have $18 and $22k offers on.

    Imagine my shock when I priced out a fully loaded example at $45,530.

    What is this thing, anyway?

    Was it ever worth even vaguely close to that much?

    I can buy a new BMW 5-series (admittedly with no options) for within $1k of that, and you can stay under $50k even throwing in a nav system and premium stereo.

    D

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