Can't Win For Losing: Chrysler kills Cash for Clunkers incentives after running out of cars?

What do you do with a program that is driving so many customers into your showrooms that inventory is now running low? If you are Chrysler, and it's the popular incentive plan tied to the government's C.A.R.S. (a.k.a. "Cash for Clunkers") program, you extinguish it and replace it with a new, less attractive version. Really.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that as of Tuesday, Chrysler Group LLC will no longer automatically add another $4,500 of its own incentives on top of the $4,500 CARS rebate. Instead, the company will vary the size of the rebates based on vehicle brand and model.

The about-face is the result of a near-unbelievable turn of events for the struggling automaker. An overabundance of inventory forced Chrysler to shut down its factories earlier this year... and now it is faced with dealers complaining about low inventory levels on key vehicles like the Town and Country and Jeep Wrangler, with swelling waiting lists as the incentive program has proven too fruitful.

[Source: The Wall Street Journal | Image: Scott Olson/Getty]

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