HOUSTON-It's a sure sign of the wacky state of our economy-local car dealers are selling their vehicles for less than they paid. Houston-area Chrysler dealers whose contracts werecanceled when the automaker filed bankruptcy in May have until June 9 to sell all their inventory.
The largest of the dealers is Bob Archer. He said Chrysler has implied it will do "something" to help dealers with their unsold cars and trucks.
"They said they're going to try to work with us to get our cars out of inventory. We don't know exactly what that means," said Archer.
But Archer said he doesn't trust the company, especially since they left him "holding the bag" last month by unexpectedly telling him and about 800 dealers nationwide that Chrysler was canceling their franchise contracts.
Here are some examples of new car prices at Archer and other dealers:
Chargers for $20,000
Minivans for $20,000
Ram trucks for $25,000
Jeeps for $18,000
Chrysler 300s for $21,000
Archer says business has been booming. Other Chrysler dealers who have lost their franchises report the same thing. The sales manager at Baytown Chrysler said they're selling at "net, net, net." That means zero mark-up on the price. The president of Rogers Dodge in Alvin said if Chrysler has a rebate on the car or truck, dealers are honoring those, so that's less than zero mark-up on the price.
If you're interested in Saving Cents on a new car or truck right now, you can get one for less than what the dealers paid. If you buy a Chrysler from a dealership that lost its franchise, you can still go to any other existing dealership for service.
After June 9, the deals may get even better. Archer said he may buy any unsold inventory himself, then sell the cars and trucks as used vehicles. He said his family plans to stay in the used car business. They had been Chrysler dealers for 50 years.