Chrysler Corp. said today it will extend bargain-basement financing on new cars to some of its 1987 models following record sales that left dealers short of 1986 vehicles.
General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. said they had no immediate plans to match the move.
All three major U.S. auto makers are offering financing below 3% through early October to clear the showrooms of their 1986 models. Chrysler is the first to extend the program to the new models.
GM in August announced 2.9% financing for some loans on 1986 cars. Ford followed with a similar 2.9% program.
Both programs end Oct. 8, the two auto makers said. American Motors Corp. is offering zero-percent financing on some of its loans.
Chrysler announced 2.4% financing for two-year loans on its '86 models, with higher rates for longer periods.
Both the 1986-model program and the 1987-model program end Oct. 12, Chrysler spokesman Tom Jakobowski said.
The 1987 program "is only at dealerships that choose to participate," Jakobowski said. "If a dealer has a lot of '86 inventory, he may choose not to participate in this program."
The nation's auto makers in early September, the first sales period under the low-rate programs, reported their highest 10-day sales since 1972.
Chrysler sales were up 39.1% from a year earlier, and GM sales were up 53.4%. Ford, which had a lower stock of 1986 models than the other auto makers, reported a 5.1% sales increase.