Hey Chrysler, Where Is Your Hybrid?

Chrysler LLC recently announced its Refuel America campaign where buyers of new Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles get a fixed $2.99/gal at the gas pump for the next three years. They are aiming to save their customers money by keeping gas prices set during these periods of economic fluctuation and uncertainty. But are consumers more concerned with price per gallon or miles per gallon?

Compete took a look at shoppers of Chrysler LLC models (the unique shoppers of all Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep models) versus shoppers of models that offer a hybrid (Honda Civic, Toyota Camry, Toyota Prius and Ford Escape). By tossing gas prices into the mix we really see the impact they have on consumer behavior. Gas price averages bottomed out at the end of last summer ($2.83/gal. in August ’07) and have been steadily rising ever since, with the steepest increases coming in the past few months.

Obviously the steep gas prices and economic conditions are driving consumers to shop hybrid models more. Even with the recent addition of new models (Dodge Journey, Dodge Challenger) helping to lift shopper counts, the hybrid segment continues to dominate. A recent article states that the waiting list for a new Prius is 4-6 months, and a new Civic hybrid 2-3 months. Maybe Chrysler should be investing these campaign dollars in developing a hybrid model of their own to improve market share and capitalize on these sales opportunities!

So Chrysler, where is your hybrid?

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