Chrysler's all-new Pacifica cross/utility vehicle gave signals it was showing signs of traction on the sales front, with 6,857 units sold in July. The only problem: 1,200 of them never left the lot.
Chrysler dealer demos prop up sales of Pacifica. Chrysler initiated an offer in July to provide a $3,000 incentive to dealers to purchase a Pacifica as a demo as part of a program to get customers to take test drives while their vehicles are in for service.
The goal is to familiarize consumers with the capabilities of the Pacifica so they'll consider the CUV when they replace their current Chrysler product or buy an additional vehicle. The demand from dealers accounted for 1,200 of Pacifica's sales during the month.
“Yes, we have provided the dealers…$3,000 incentives. We are subsidizing a demo,” says Gary Dilts, senior vice president-sales at Chrysler Group. He says with more than 50,000 Chrysler owners coming in to dealer service departments each day, allowing them to drive a Pacifica to gain product familiarity is a good business practice.
Subtract the 1,200 demo units and Pacifica sales reached 5,657 units, 987 units less than the 6,642 sold in June.
Chrysler has been criticized for its Pacifica launch. The company shipped high-priced, high-contented versions of the vehicle to dealers during the initial launch stages.
The price tags, most in excess of $36,000, caused some potential customers to look elsewhere for their next new car.
Dilts says Chrysler is moving to correct its blunder. It's shipping lower-content vehicles that it hopes will lessen the initial sticker shock in showrooms.