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Chrysler Joins GM to Extend Zero Percent Financing

October 29, 2001

Faced with an escalating incentives war that is rocketing U.S. car sales to a near-record pace, the Chrysler Group has reluctantly extended zero-percent-interest financing to Nov. 19, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Now, the pressure is on Ford to ante up or risk losing sales to its rivals, according to industry analysts.

Ford spokeswoman Susan Krusel said Oct. 26 the No. 2 automaker had made no decision on matching its competitors and extending its own plan beyond Oct. 31. It's a difficult decision for Ford, since the incentives eat up company profits.

General Motors Corp., which started the boom with its zero percent and low-interest financing, kept the lead by prolonging its offer to Nov. 18.

The attractive incentives have brought consumers flooding into dealerships despite economic uncertainty due to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

While import automakers have largely stood on the sidelines, the GM, Ford and Chrysler finance plans have driven up total October sales about 15 percent. If such a rate could be sustained for a year, the industry would sell more than 20 million vehicles, breaking yearly sales records, according to analysts.

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