Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealers are complaining that DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group is pressuring them to carry unreasonably high inventories so the auto maker can boost sales numbers.
“They are pushing and we are resisting,” says one Chrysler dealer at the Florida Automobile Dealers Assn. convention.
A spokesman for the National Automobile Dealers Assn. says the organization has “made it loud and clear” to Chrysler that dealers do not want to be unduly loaded up with inventory.
The dealers accuse Chrysler of building too many vehicles, then pushing them on the market.
DaimlerChrysler has gained market share in the U.S. for two years in a row. Ward's predicts it will lose some share this year, but then regain in 2007 and 2008.
Chrysler claims most of its dealers support an aggressive sales strategy.
Meanwhile, a hot topic of discussion among Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealers at the Florida dealer convention was the abrupt departure of Gary E. Dilts from his position as Chrysler Group's senior vice president-sales, a job that involved much dealer interaction.