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Chrysler Sales Dive 48% in April

"We know where the bottom is," said Jim Press.

by on May.01, 2009

Jim Press with Challenger

Not very many people are buying vehicles.

Bankrupt Chrysler LLC experienced the kind of sales performance in April that caused its financial difficulties in the first place, as sales dropped to 43,138 vehicles, or -48%, compared with 83,348 a year ago.

Year-to-date sales dropped to 323,890 vehicles, compared with 601,622 in 2008, or -46%. Chrysler Crossfire, PT Cruiser and Sebring; Jeep Compass, Commander and Patriot; Dodge Avenger, Caliber, Durango and Journey — all had sales declines that averaged -70%.

As a result of the ongoing sales slump, Chrysler will extend through May 4 the Employee Pricing Plus Plus (sic) program, which offers the employee price to all customers purchasing or leasing new 2009 Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge vehicles. Customers may also qualify for 0% financing for up to 48 months through Chase bank.  In addition to the employee price, customers are eligible for cash discounts of up to $3,500 on 2009 model year vehicles. 

The Company finished the month with 336,913 vehicles in inventory, representing a 114 day supply.  Inventory is down 20% compared with April 2008, when it totaled 422,353 units. All of Chrysler’s North American plants will be closed until it emerges from bankruptcy, the company said yesterday.

As always sales executives attempted to stay positive in the face of a clear disaster.

“The industry appears to have stabilized, as it’s been fairly level for the past four months,” said Jim Press, Vice Chairman and President, Chrysler LLC. “We know where the bottom is and, as the economy struggles to recover, vehicle sales should follow.” (more…)