We heard directly from Saab USA last week that there’s not going to be a big sales event for the US summer this year. That was all well and good whilst the competition was toeing the same line. In an email I’ve just received, Automotive News are stating that Chrysler are looking at changing the playing field.
The Chrysler group has fired the first shot of the summer selling season with an employee-discount program for consumers beginning July 1.
The company’s Employee Pricing Plus discount plan was announced to dealers in sales meetings Wednesday, say dealer and industry sources.
The program, essentially the same as the one the automaker ran last summer, allows all customers to buy Chrysler group vehicles at the same heavily discounted prices available to Chrysler group employees.
Last year’s “Employee Pricing for Everyone” scheme led to massive sales for a few months with a huge slump in the following months. After the slump, GM vowed to stick to a ‘value pricing’ regime that would hopefully smooth out yearly sales, the theory being that yet another huge slash-n-burn sale would further train consumers to just wait for the summer to buy a new car.
Fine in theory, but competition in the marketplace will make companies do competitive things.
It’s hard to imagine them not reacting to this. Watch this space.