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Hidden C200 incentives dropped

by David Zatz on

Automotive News reported that FCA US has killed an “aggressive” incentive on the Chrysler 200, which gave dealers who hit high monthly sales a hefty payback. Sales have climbed by 67% so far this year, with Chrysler’s admittedly small share of midsize cars rising from 4.5% to 7.6%.

Some dealers will be left in the lurch with large numbers of 200s in inventory, though customer rebates are not changing and increased visibility on the road may help drive sales.

According to the weekly industry magazine, which also does daily on-line stories, the hefty incentives have been moved to the Jeep Cherokee. One problem caused by the direct-to-dealer incentives is that some dealers took to buying 200s themselves and then selling them as used cars, to make their sales quotas — resulting in gains of up to six figures — because if they missed their quota, they had no incentive payments at all.

The incentives were successful in moving cars and keeping the Sterling Heights fairly busy, due to an apathetic customer response to the almost-completely redesigned car, sharing only its engines with the old 200.

Larry Vellequette, who wrote the article, was also told that FCA US encouraged dealers to buy new 200s and use them as loaner cars, partly so customers would not have to wait for rentals, and partly to get people into 200s.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304

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