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Chrysler Matches Some Incentives From GM, Ford

September 25, 2001

The Chrysler side of DaimlerChrysler AG on Sept. 25 announced it was offering no-interest financing on some new models, following similar moves by General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. aimed at reviving sales in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

However, Chrysler's new deals did not match the scope of those offered by GM and Ford, and the automaker excluded its strongest-selling vehicles.

Chrysler also altered the cash rebates it was offering on some models, and said some current owners could delay loan payments for up to one month.

Last week, GM and then, one day later, Ford announced they were offering no-interest and low-interest financing on 2001 and 2002 model cars and trucks. Those rates apply only to loans through the automakers' captive finance arms, and in place of regular rebates or other loan deals that were averaging over $2,500 per vehicle in August.

The average new-vehicle loan has a finance rate of about 6 percent, with a $20,000 principal and a length of just under five years, according to industry trade groups. A zero-interest loan with those terms would save the buyer $53 per month in interest, or about $2,854 for the life of the loan.

Chrysler said its zero-and low-interest rates applied only to 2002 models and excluded the Jeep Liberty, Dodge Ram, some minivan models and its limited production sports cars. It also changed cash rebates on some vehicles, but declined to give specifics.

As with the other automakers, the lower loan rates are in place of other incentives, and run through Oct. 31.

Sales in September are expected to fall 15 percent to 20 percent as consumers cut back on purchases after the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and on the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

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