$2.99 a gallon for Chrysler customers

A gas nozzle in the fuel port of a car.

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Right on cue, Chrysler rolls out a new incentive program today. Buy certain new cars or trucks and lock in lower gas prices. Amy Scott explains.


Amy Scott: For three years, Chrysler customers will pay just $2.99 a gallon. Chrysler will pay any difference. With the average price about $3.61 right now, the savings could add up. Erich Merkle tracks the auto industry for research firm IRN. He says it's a clever short-term approach. High gas prices and the housing downturn have taken a big bite out of Chrysler's truck sales. But as drivers demand more fuel-efficient vehicles, Merkle says Chrysler will need more than a quick fix.

Erich Merkle: Right now, Chrysler's gotta play the cards they have. But long-term, there's no question that Chrysler is far too heavily wedded on trucks. And they've gotta have something more in terms of a smaller vehicle.

Chrysler is teaming up with Nissan to offer smaller cars in a few years. In the meantime, Merkle says, other automakers may offer gas-related incentives of their own. U.S. auto sales fell 14 percent last month from the year before.

In New York, I'm Amy Scott for Marketplace.

About the author

Amy Scott is Marketplace’s education correspondent covering the K-12 and higher education beats, as well as general business and economic stories.

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