Chrysler to follow GM's lead, partner with credit unions to offer loans
Alisa Priddle / The Detroit News
Chrysler LLC will announce today that it is following the lead of General Motors Corp. in making credit available to customers in a partnership with a number of credit unions.
Last week, GM announced the "Invest in America" initiative with the Michigan Credit Union League to offer new or current members of 1,200 credit unions access to lower loan rates and about 4.5 percent off manufacturer's suggested retail price. The program made $10 billion in auto loans available to car buyers.
Chrysler will join the program that is designed to help consumers who cannot get credit in today's tightened lending market, and is expanding it from four states to 12. And Chrysler will offer a larger amount up front: a minimum of $500 to $1,000 depending on the vehicle, layered on top of other incentives. GM's bonus cash offer is for $250 in a deal good until Jan. 5.
At GM., the campaign that runs through June 2009 is available in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. GM spokesman John McDonald said the automaker will monitor it before deciding whether to expand nationally.
The League also is talking to Ford Motor Co. about participating. Ford has expressed interest, but details are still being worked out, said Michigan credit union spokesman Luke Capizzo.
Meanwhile, Michigan credit unions have been fielding calls from interested members, Capizzo said. It is too early to see any impact in the showroom, McDonald said.