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Consumers Sniff Around Chrysler's Gas-Price Guarantee
Date posted: 05-16-2008

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan — Chrysler, its dealers and Edmunds.com are all reporting big spikes in Internet traffic and showroom interest in the company's Let's Refuel America gas-price guarantee. Interested consumers are focusing on fuel-efficient models such as Jeep Compass and Dodge Caliber, but more also are giving a gander to some relative gas hogs such as the Chrysler 300.

More than a week after Chrysler announced its program to price-protect consumers against gasoline over $2.99 a gallon with purchase of many of its models, no other major OEM has imitated Chrysler. But Chrysler executives told Inside Line that they don't mind going it alone — because many of their customers are going with them.

Edmunds.com reported just a 2 percent increase for the best-performing of its brands, the Chrysler marque, based on visits to the New Vehicle Detail Pages (NVDPs) for the company's products on Edmunds.com. Consideration of Dodge and Chrysler brands, measured this way, was flat.

But consideration as measured by NVDP visits was up 25 percent for Jeep Compass, 14 percent for Chrysler Aspen, 11 percent for Dodge Caliber, 9 percent for Jeep Patriot and 9 percent for Dodge Avenger. All of these vehicles are in segments where consumers are heavily oriented toward fuel economy.

Nevertheless, a couple of larger Chrysler vehicles also posted significant increases in Edmunds.com NVDP visits after one week of the gas-price incentive. The Chrysler 300 was up 23 percent by this measure, while the Dodge Grand Caravan had increased by 11 percent.

Meantime, Chrysler's own soundings confirm that consumers at least are demonstrating great awareness of and interest in the campaign. Traffic on Chrysler's Web site jumped by about 25 percent on the day after the unveiling of Let's Refuel America and has climbed another 10 percent this week, for example.

Deborah Meyer, Chrysler's chief marketing officer, declined to tell Inside Line whether the company will extend Let's Refuel America after its scheduled June 2 expiration.

What this means to you: If still-climbing, extremely high gas prices are the difference between your purchasing a vehicle now or not, Chrysler may be the only game in town for you. — Dale Buss, Correspondent







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Consumers Sniff Around Chrysler's Gas-Price Guarantee
 

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