LANSING, Mich. (1/8/09)--Like a similar program with General Motors, America’s credit unions and Chrysler LLC have expanded their “Invest in America” credit union loan partnership from the original pilot of 12 states to all 50, giving 90 million members access to “Credit Union Member Cash” rebates at Chrysler dealers throughout the country. Invest in America makes available more than $80 billion in credit union low-cost auto loans to buy new vehicles. The Chrysler partnership’s program, which began Dec. 16 in 12 states, runs until June 20. It offers Chrysler rebates of $500 or $1,000 on eligible Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles. Ed Broadbear, director of incentives and programs for Chrysler, told media in a conference call Wednesday that during the 12-state pilot, the company “saw a significant lift in auto sales” in those states, compared with sales in other states, so it decided to expand the program nationwide. “Financing is a critical concern in today’s economy, and the program provides considerable value to our customers and the economy,” he said. David Adams, president/CEO of the Michigan Credit Union League and its subsidiary, CUcorp, which negotiated the partnership, said CUcorp will work with state associations and credit unions to promote the discounts and cash rebates to boost auto sales. “The $500 and $1,000 cash rebates are layered on top of all the other dealer incentives offered,” he said. Adams noted credit unions reported a surge of an annualized 20% to 80% in growth in auto loans during the pilot, partly due to the incentive. Credit unions “have the liquidity to stimulate the economy, with more than $160 billion in available liquidity.” By making $80 million available for the loan program, credit unions could provide financing for four million auto sales. “Credit unions are doing their part to help the economy,” he said. Details about Chrysler’s “Credit Union Member Cash” program can be found at www.lovemycreditunion.org by using the “Invest in America” resource link.