As predicted [WAMN: 05-Jul-05] US car maker Chrysler Group has followed General Motors' route to boost sales by matching its rival's hugely successful 'employee discount' consumer promotion.

The company, the US arm of German-controlled DaimlerChrysler, is launching the deal today (July 6), whereby any buyer can purchase a Chrysler vehicle for around the same price a company employee would pay.

The scheme, pioneered by GM in June to shift 2005 models from dealer lots, paid handsome dividends when monthly sales for the US number one car maker soared 41% and market share leapt to 32.8%.

Chrysler's sales, in contrast, rose by a modest 5.1% in June. Svp Barry Dilts says the simplicity of GM's offer had appealed to customers because it took negotiation out of the sales process. He adds: "This is not a bad way to go with the '05 model year."

It is expected the nation's second biggest manufacturer, the Ford Motor Company, will soon make a similar move. Its June sales remained essentially flat, showing a rise of just 0.7%.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff