Chrysler Drops 'Double Cash' Incentive Due to Lack of Inventory

Joshua Duval
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Both Chrysler and the U.S. government seem to have the same problem this week: their incentive programs have worked a little too well. While the government is working to drudge up money to continue funding its CARS rebates, Chrysler reportedly has ended its $4500 cash-back incentive program because of low inventory on eligible models.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Chrysler will drop the "Double CA$H For Your Old Car' incentive program on Tuesday because of dealer complaints that inventory is low. The incentive program, which started simultaneously with the government's CARS program on July 23, gives consumers $4500 off their purchase of most 2009 Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep models--regardless of whether or not they are eligible for the government's program.

Dealers are reportedly running out of Chrysler's most popular models, like the Jeep Wrangler and Chrysler Town and Country.

"Unfortunately the problem that we face with Chrysler is the lack of inventory," said one dealer, Bill Rosado, who owns a Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep dealership in Pennsylvania. "I can't believe I'm saying this, I need more Chrysler inventory. My goodness, I've got to rehearse that line a couple times."

Chrysler spokesman Jodi Tinson said the double cash incentive "did what it needed to do" in terms of drawing consumers into Chrysler showrooms. A revised campaign will see Chrysler change its message "to focus less on the deal but more on the products" she said. The new incentives will reportedly vary the size of the rebates based on the brand and model a customer selects.

Chrysler restarted its factories just last week, after a two-week summer shutdown. The company has produced one-third fewer vehicles this year than last year, as it attempts to minimize the damage from a 45 percent drop in sales.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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