Chrysler Group über-boss Dieter Zetsche is finding it tough selling cars in the USA. So, instead, he is planning to give them away on the worldwide web.

The ceo of the automaker's German parent DaimlerChrysler was drafted into the marketing effort last month to shift vehicles from dealer lots following a series of monthly sales declines.

According to the company, "Dr Z's" online patter has been hugely popular. But other industry watchers have cast doubts over his on-screen charm and say he has along way to go before his site reaches the cult status of YouTube.

Now the good doctor is offering visitors to his online world the chance to win one of nine cars - including the new Dodge Challenger model, not scheduled for release until 2008. The promotion runs through September 4, when the lucky winners will be announced.

Chrysler's reluctantly re-introduced employee discount incentive scheme failed to galvanise sales in July [WAMN: 04-Aug-06] and will be ditched in September. Its domestic brands - Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge - posted a 37% decline last month compared with the year-ago period.

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