To boost sagging sales, American Car manufacturer Chrysler has launched the “Let’s Refuel America” campaign, in which buyers are guaranteed $2.99 per gallon gasoline for 3 years for Chrysler or Dodge vehicles purchased between May 7th and July 7th, 2008. Of course, there are some stipulations—there’s a 12,000 mile annual mileage limit, the plan only applies to 87 octane gas, uber- guzzlers like the Dodge Viper and “SRT” performance cars are excluded, etc.
The plan may seem like a good deal for customers searching for a new car in these uncertain times, but really this is just a clever cover-up tactic. Chrysler, with this campaign, is seeking to distract the public, hoping the poor fuel economy of the 2008 Chrysler/Dodge line-up won’t be noticed.
According to data posted at fueleconomy.gov, the average city fuel economy (gas mileage is measured in city mpg, and highway mpg—highway is the higher figure, but city mpg is the most realistic estimate of a car’s actual fuel economy) of all Chrysler and Dodge vehicles for the 2008 model year is 16.1 miles per gallon. Honda, on the other hand, boasts 21.14 mpg for their 2008 line-up. Hybrids are absent for Chrysler’s line-up, as are any vehicles getting 25 mpg or better, whereas Honda and Toyota have 6 and 9, respectively. Astoundingly, Chrysler/Dodge have 30 vehicles in their broad 2008 line-up averaging 14 mpg, or worse! Only 10 vehicles, between Honda and Toyota, post such poor figures (Honda has no cars rated at 14 mpg or worse).
Instead of making cars with smaller carbon footprints and better gas mileage figures, Chrysler, for now, has invested in a deception campaign. As the public becomes more and more green conscious and as fuel prices continue to skyrocket, expect Chrysler/Dodge to become widely known as the preeminent maker of gas-guzzlers in the coming years—especially 3-plus years from now, when the $2.99-a-gallon gas cards expire.