Report: Fewer Web Shoppers Researching Chrysler Products

Chrysler July sales dropped below the 100,000 unit mark as consumers began to show signs that they've lost confidence in the company, reports Automotive News. While Chrysler's announcement that it would suspend leasing August 1 caused a last-minute flurry of shoppers, more ominous was a report by Complete.com that Chrysler's June "shopper count," its number of online product inquiries on major automotive Web sites, fell to the company's second-lowest on record. Hmm; loss of customer interest and no leases. Where could this be going?

Jalopnik Snap Judgment: Though Chrysler's last-minute leasing bubble looked good on paper, the net effect will be to front-load shoppers, not unlike the GM "employee pricing for everyone deals" from a few years back. Combined with news of the lack of product research being conducted by potential buyers, the bad news for Chrysler is that everyone who may have been interested in driving a Chrysler probably picked one up at the end of July. August sales numbers will begin to tell the story, as we'll see the combined effects of customer defections and the absence of leasing availability. Is this yet another warning sign for Cerberus, who many think is in over its head, or just another unusual component in a broader calculated strategy for returning Chrysler to health? [Automotive News, Sub. Req.; Image Credit: Andrzej Wolfarth via TOCMP]