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Sales of Toledo-built vehicles continued to plummet in May, despite Chrysler's efforts to prop them up with incentives, including a $2.99 per gallon gas guarantee. None of the vehicles made at the Toledo Jeep Assembly complex gets more than low 20s miles per gallon.

Sales of the Jeep Liberty fell 19 percent from a year ago to 6,228 units, while sales of its companion vehicle, the Dodge Nitro, plummeted by 56 percent to 2,667 units last month. Sales of the Jeep Wrangler - which shot up in 2007 after the introduction of the first-ever four-door Unlimited model - dropped 25 percent from a year ago to 9,260 units last month.

For the first five months this year, Nitro sales were off 32 percent to 21,321, Wrangler sales were down 27 percent to 39,773, and Liberty sales were down 14 percent to 35,917. All three are made at the Toledo Jeep Assembly complex.

Chrysler said car sales fell 33 percent and truck sales were down 22 percent despite the $2.99 gas incentive program. Chrysler said the decline was mainly because of a 40 percent cutback in sales to rental car companies and other fleets.

Steven Landry, executive vice president for North American sales, said the $2.99 gas incentive has lured people into dealerships and will be continued through July 7. He said between 5 percent and 10 percent of buyers are choosing the fuel guarantee over other incentives.


LINK:toledoblade.com -- Toyota, Honda outsell popular Ford F-series
 
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