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CUs pledge to continue Chrysler support
LIVONIA, Mich. (5/8/09)--America’s credit unions, through the “Invest in America” program, are pledging their support for Chrysler LLC during its comprehensive restructuring announced last week. Because Chrysler Financial will cease to provide financing for an undetermined time, credit union loans will become an even more important source of auto financing, according to the Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL). Through an expanded partnership between Chrysler and CUcorp--a marketing company based in Livonia, Mich., and wholly owned subsidiary of MCUL--participating credit union members will receive either a $1,000 incentive on five of the most popular Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles or a $500 incentive on seven additional vehicles. These discounts are on top of their best deal, accompanied by low-rate financing provided by a credit union. The expansion increases the cash incentive and applies it to a broader range of cars and trucks through June 1. More than 1,500 credit unions, representing 40 million credit union members in 50 states, have been promoting Chrysler’s Credit Union Member Cash program, said the league. With credit remaining tight for domestic autos, credit unions boast more than $160 billion in liquidity available for member loans of all types, including new car loans. “About 86,000 vehicles have been purchased in the first three months of this year through Invest In America, and about 72,000 have been financed through credit unions,” Dave Adams, CEO of CUCorp and MCUL president, told participants in a conference call Thursday. “New-car loans financed through credit unions nationwide have risen to 25% in March of 2009 from 14% in March of 2008.” “Credit unions indeed are prepared to fill the void left by Chrysler Financial shutting down and the overall credit crisis [nationwide], so people can buy new vehicles with affordable financing rates,” Adams concluded. Invest in America is credit unions’ auto loan discount program with auto manufacturers General Motors Corp. (GM) and Chrysler Corp. The program started in December with a four-state pilot program for GM and a 12-state pilot for Chrysler. The campaign includes contractual credit union member incentives from GM and Chrysler. GM is offering supplier pricing, which averages about $1,500 per vehicle, with its Credit Union Member Discount. Chrysler is offering $500 or $1,000 rebates through its Credit Union Member Cash program.
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