Sunday, June 7, 2009

More Reasons Why Chrysler Is In Bankruptcy

Yesterday I received a letter from Bob Nardelli, the CEO of Chrysler. It's a form letter sent out to Chrysler customers (we have 2 Chrysler vehicles) with info about the bankruptcy and assurances that they're still making great vehicles, will honor all warranties, blah, blah, blah.

At the end is an "Owner Loyalty Certificate" offering $1000 toward the purchase of a new Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep vehicle. Sounds like a good idea to retain customers and maybe generate some sales. Then I looked at the fine print and a couple things hit me...

The offer is only valid from May 5 to June 30. The letter was delivered to me on June 6, halfway into the program. The fine print says the offer's "not valid on a prior purchase or lease". So if I had purchased a new Dodge last week and then got this certificate for $1000 yesterday that I couldn't use, I'd be one ticked off customer and brand loyalty would be the last thing on my mind. Note to Chrysler...when running an offer like this, send it out in time for people to use it.

Only good for purchase of a new 2008 or 2009 vehicle with some models excluded. There are a lot of models on the excluded list which I understand. Manufacturers don't want to discount their best selling models. But it's now model year 2010...if you still have a 2008 Crossfire or Magnum on the lot, you want to sell it now. A $1000 loyalty offer is one way to do that. So why are there any exclusions on purchasing a 2008 model?

I'm disappointed to see Chrysler go into bankruptcy. We're overall pretty happy with the quality, styling and what not of our Chrysler vehicles. And I hope that they continue to make great cars and trucks. But they need to get smarter about how they run their business.

Unfortunately, the writing was on the wall when we bought my wife's car in 2005. It was a new purchase and Chrysler offered us an extra $500 rebate if we would finance through them at 0% interest for 4 years. In other words, these financial geniuses paid me $500 to use over $20k of their money for free for 4 years! Is it any wonder they're in bankruptcy now?

But I guess the joke's on me as an American taxpayer since we're squandering billions to bail these guys and GM out of a mess they created. Meanwhile Ford could get the royal shaft because they used smart management to avoid taking bailout money.