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so i just ran over this article: they are giving free gas for 2 years, free routine maintenance and something else when you buy a car from them.



DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group said Thursday it will give two years of free gas to customers who buy a 2005 or 2006 vehicle before Jan. 3, following announcements of new discounts by rivals General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co.

Chrysler will also kick in two years of free scheduled maintenance and increase the warranty on mechanical parts to five years or 60,000 miles. Chrysler now offers a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty. The offer, called the "Miles of Freedom" plan, begins Monday.

"The combination of free gasoline, free scheduled maintenance and a full warranty puts our customers' mind at ease and allows them to fully experience the joy of driving one of our vehicles," said Joe Eberhardt, Chrysler's executive vice president of global sales, marketing and service.

The company said the free gas will come in the form of a $2,400 debit card that can be used for anything. Alan Helfman, manager of River Oaks Chrysler Jeep in Houston, said the free maintenance is worth $200 to $300 and the extended warranty is worth $600 to $700.

"It's a great tool for marketing," Helfman said.

"We wanted to motivate people in some way to get them out of their seats and into the showroom," said Julie Roehm, the marketing director of communication for Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge.

George Murphy, a senior vice president of marketing Chrysler Group, added that dealers won't have top pick up the costs of the incentive program, Chrysler will.

DaimlerChrysler shares rose $2.03, or 4.1 percent, to close at $51.18 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange

For the rest of November, customers will be able to choose between the new incentive or cash-back plans already in place that expire Nov. 30. Helfman said some customers might still choose the cash, although the new plan could be a better deal. The 2006 Jeep Commander, which starts at $27,290, currently has a $1,500 rebate, Helfman said. Under the new plan, that would double.

Chrysler is excluding some of its hottest-selling vehicles from the plan, including the Dodge Viper, Chrysler 300, Dodge Magnum, Dodge Charger, Dodge Sprinter and SRT8.

Chrysler is the latest of the Big Three to announce new incentives to boost anemic sales. After a summer of heavily promoted employee-pricing discounts, the Big Three's sales fell a combined 17.6 percent in October, according to Autodata Corp. Chrysler fared better than GM and Ford, with flat sales compared to October 2004.

Automakers typically offer discounts over the holidays, but GM jump-started those promotions earlier than usual when it announced its "Red Tag" discount this week.

Mark LaNeve, GM's sales and marketing chief, said every company must prepare for year-end discounts or prepare to lose business.

"I think, if we had been out there with nothing while everyone else had year-end promotions, we'd get murdered," LaNeve said.

Ford's rebate offer has a similar no-haggle aspect. Under its "Keep It Simple Plan," customers are given one consistent, maximum price that will be printed on vehicles' window stickers.

U.S. automakers have a love-hate relationship with incentives, which boost sales but can cheapen a brand's image.

GM, Ford and Chrysler have all tried to pull back on incentives but returned to them when sales slowed. As soon as October sales were released, Chrysler slapped a $1,000 discount on all 2005 and 2006 vehicles.

Chrysler had the highest incentives of any major automaker in October at $3,075 per vehicle, according to Autodata. Honda Motor Co. spent the least, at $618 per car.
 
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