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Chrysler announces employee pricing, $6,000 rebates

Fri, 23 Jan 2009

Chrysler LLC, reeling from plunging U.S. sales and bulging inventories, will offer all customers the same prices paid by employees and boost rebates to as much as $6,000.

The program, called "Employee Pricing Plus Plus," begins Monday on Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler models. It will include a national advertising campaign, the automaker said late Thursday.

The $6,000 rebates apply to 2008 models. Vehicles from the 2009 model year will carry rebates of as much as $3,500. Interest-free financing will be available for as long as 48 months.

Chrysler will use the incentives to reduce one of the industry's highest stocks of unsold vehicles. The company had a 115-day supply of cars and light trucks at the start of the month, about twice the level considered normal, after U.S. sales dropped more than 50 percent in December.

The industrywide average rose to a 94-day supply on Jan. 1 as U.S. sales fell to their lowest levels in 25 years amid a global credit crisis.

Chrysler received a $4 billion U.S. loan three weeks ago to avoid running out of cash. A separate, $1.5 billion U.S. loan granted to a new arm of Chrysler Financial on Jan. 16 allowed the finance unit to increase lending.

Two days ago, Chrysler announced plans to form an alliance with Fiat's S.p.A. that would give the Italian company a 35 percent stake in Chrysler without a cash investment.

The incentives don't apply to the Dodge Sprinter van.

By Dave Versical- Automotive News