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Popular Chrysler models in short supply

by Bill Cawthon on

The success of the Car Allowance Rebate System, better known as cash for clunkers, is proving to have a downside: Chrysler is running out of some of its most fuel-efficient vehicles.

With as much as a $9,000 discount offered under Chrysler’s “Double Your CA$H for Your Old Car” promotion, consumers snapped up so many Avengers, Calibers and Patriots that supplies once measured in months are now measured in days and many dealers are completely out of them. The “Double Your CA$H for Your Old Car” campaign was replaced by the Summer Clearance event

As of July 31, Chrysler had only a seven day supply of the Jeep Patriot and just fifteen days worth of Dodge Avengers and Jeep Compasses. Stocks of the third member of the Belvidere trio, the Dodge Caliber, were only sufficient for seventeen days. There are enough Dodge Caravan minivans to last nineteen days, less than half of the preferred forty to sixty days. With $2 billion in fresh funding for the CARS program, Chrysler dealer stand to lose deals to the competition.

Chrysler plants are trying to keep up with demand, but the weeks they were shut down dur ing the company’s bankruptcy and summer break mean dealers could be waiting for weeks to receive inventory. Overtime is being added at Belvidere.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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