Chrysler Drops Its Double Cash for Clunkers Offer. Why?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

AdAge reports that Chrysler is deep-sixing it’s “Double Ca$h” for clunkers ad campaign, some thirty days before the ads were due to expire. “We saw the spike in the interest and decided to change our direction,” a Chrysler spokeswoman told Ad Age. Chrysler is now switching to a “summer clearance” ad campaign. Huh? AdAge doesn’t explore the rationale behind the move, but here’s a couple of theories . . .

1. Not enough qualifying inventory. The MSM hasn’t picked-up this prospect—despite the Glenn Beckian possibility of under-the-table collusion between the feds and GM/Chrysler to spike the Cash for Clunkers program until they could re-stock dealers with qualifying vehicles. But it’s certainly true that Chrysler has been building bupkis since bankruptcy. The chances that they got caught with their proverbial pants down are high.

2. AdAge says that “Chrysler plans to honor the double cash offer through Monday, Aug. 3, and on Tuesday announce new incentives, the spokeswoman said, but declined to elaborate.” Again, Chrysler could be a victim of its own success; the double cash offer comes off their bottom line. While it’s hard to believe that ChryCo would be careful with taxpayer money (why start now?), it’s not entirely inconceivable. Is it?

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

More by Robert Farago

Join the conversation
4 of 13 comments
  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Aug 02, 2009

    I wouldn't be surprised if Chrysler isn't printing new window stickers with higher MSRP numbers so they can pocket a bigger chunk of profit if they even make any profit. I can see the guys at night scraping and sticking already!! Tongue and cheek to be sure, but never trust a dealer to not find a way to fleece a customer....

  • David Hester David Hester on Aug 02, 2009

    I think that the dealers are by and large out of qualifying inventory. I swung through the lot at my local Dodge- Chrysler- Jeep dealer (Mann DCJ in Richmond, KY) and the only qualifying vehicles left on the lot were 6 Dodge Avengers that had "$4500 off" chalked on the windows. There were no new Calibers, Jeep Compasses, Jeep Libertys, or Dodge Nitros on the whole lot.

  • BDB BDB on Aug 02, 2009

    I'm going with "they're out of qualifying inventory". Look at Chrysler's vehicle lineup. Not only does it suck, it doesn't have very many qualifying vehicles. I guess they sold a hell of a lot of Sebrings (finally).

  • Lw Lw on Aug 02, 2009

    So if your a dealer and just cleared your lot over the last week with the C4C deals.. what do you do? Cash out and walk away? Reorder and refill the lot? Wait to see what the senate does this week? C4C might result in many dealers closing. Should be interesting to watch.