Chrysler has promised that they are working on green cars and advanced technology vehicles, but I simply don't see it. While GM is promising an gas-electric car with a 40 mile EV range, Toyota is planning on launching an even-more-efficient Prius, and VW seems to have a 200 MPG two-seater in the works, Chrysler is solving its customers' fuel-cost concerns by trying to help them ignore the problem.
Chrysler has just announced that, instead of making its vehicles more efficient (thus saving customers money) they're simply going to charge more for their large trucks, and use the money to artificially deflate customers gas prices to $2.99 per gallon for three years after purchase. And then, surprise, unlike efficiency gains, the well suddenly runs dry and vehicle owners are stuck with a car that neither they, nor anyone else, wants, in a world where gas costs, at best, more than $4 per gallon.
Of course, Chrysler should be worried. A great deal of its business in its Dodge and Jeep brands are SUVs and large trucks, and SUV sales are not doing well. SUV sales for the month of April are down 33% from last year. That's a HUGE drop, especially when so much of Chrysler's profit comes from these high-markup vehicles.
Not only is this a bad deal for the environment, it turns out its a bad deal for consumers too. The $2.99 offer only comes at the expense of giving up other incentives. And while the program will only ever save consumers about $1,200, the straight-cash incentives on the RAM and Durango are currently about $5,000.
Of course, this is all ignoring how extremely short-sighted this policy is. A measly 3 MPG gain would save consumers far more money than the $2.99 deal, while also decreasing demand for oil and emissions of CO2.
But Chrysler, apparently, would rather remain technologically stagnant. Should we let people pretend like oil prices will never rise again? Or should we actualy do something about the increased demand for gasoline, and skyrocketing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. You know where my vote lies.
The good news is that a similar program from GM a few years back (promising everlasting $1.99 gas) was a complete flop. Not only did they catch a nationwide PR backlash, as Chrysler now seems to be experiencing, but they also saw no increase in sales of large trucks and SUVs.
written by Kendra, May 08, 2008
written by Kamil, May 08, 2008
written by Edouard, May 09, 2008
written by Simon, May 09, 2008
written by Brian Sanchez, May 09, 2008
written by Malcolm Brooks, May 13, 2008
written by BillinDetroit, May 21, 2008
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