Chrysler US faces new problem: short supply

Chrysler US is facing a new problem now after several slow-selling months and a two-month factory shutdown things have turned around with the US government's cash-for-clunkers rebate achieving a feat that had eluded the manufacturer until now: a lack of cars.
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As of the end of July, Chrysler had only seven days' supply of Jeep Patriots (roughly 2200 units) in dealer stock when sixty days is considered the norm. Many other models are also in short supply as you can see below:

  • Jeep Compass: 15 days / 1,597 units.
  • Chrysler Sebring: 26 days / 1,764 units
  • PT Cruiser: 28 days / 4,412 units
  • Dodge Avenger: 15 days / 3,278 units
  • Dodge Caliber: 17 days / 5,237 units

It's a radical change from earlier this year when dealers were drowning in cars, and although it might seem like a good problem to have, a short supply has dealers worried.

But Chrysler spokeswoman Kathy Graham said the company is not concerned about a shortage.

"The plant has been running for a little more than a week," said Ms Graham. "Things are starting to ship and move. We are building orders. We think it's manageable."

On July 22, Chrysler amplified cash for clunkers by matching the government's offer of up to $4,500 for most of its vehicles, regardless of whether customers had a qualifying clunker. Chrysler tweaked that offer yesterday by lowering the incentive on some of the scarcer vehicles.

Ms Graham said the lower inventories are part of Chrysler's post-bankruptcy plan.

"We're going to build from customer orders and dealer orders, not building just for the sake of building," said Ms Graham.

Australian supply of Chrysler group models (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep) is steady at the moment.

For more information on Chrysler vehicles, click here.