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Chrysler offering big dealer incentives to clear out 2006 models

Associated Press

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group is giving dealers incentives of up to $7,000 per vehicle in an effort to clear out 2006 models and boost sales at the end of the year.
"They are huge, huge dealer amounts," Mike Manley, Chrysler's head of sales strategy and dealer operations, told district managers Friday during a conference call, according to The Detroit News. "It's the biggest move we've ever made."
The incentives, which won't be advertised, provide money that dealers can keep for themselves as profit or pass on to consumers in addition to existing rebates. The program was expected to begin Tuesday.
"We have never launched a clearance program with dealer cash amounts this large," Manley and Steve Landry, another top Chrysler sales executive, wrote in a memo to dealers Friday cited by the Detroit Free Press.
The dealer cash ranges from $2,500 on models such as the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedan to $7,000 on the Dodge Ram pickup and Durango SUV, the News reported.
Chrysler also is offering $1,000 incentives to consumers for the purchase or lease of most of its 2006- and 2007-model vehicles through Jan. 2. Chrysler is mailing the incentive offers to 3.4 million people. The offer is in addition to existing incentives on Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles.
The $1,000 offer does not apply to the 2007 Chrysler Sebring sedan, Dodge Viper sports car, Dodge Nitro and Jeep Wrangler SUVs or Jeep Patriot, or to the 2006 and 2007 Grand Cherokee SRT-8.
Chrysler inventories rose this year when high gas prices shifted demand to cars from the pickups and sport utility vehicles on which Chrysler depends. Although Chrysler has reduced its stockpile to 499,000 vehicles in November, 2006 models account for about 32 percent of the inventory.
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