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Not long after Chrysler announced it was filing for bankruptcy, the Big Three automaker also announced it was reinstating incentives for the Invest in America program.The new incentives include $1,000 for credit union members on five of the most popular Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles and $500 on seven other vehicles through the end of the month.When it originally signed up for the Invest in America program, Chrysler offered both $1,000 and $500 incentives. The auto maker cut the $1,000 incentives in March and slashed the number of vehicles it offered the $500 incentive on in April.“This shows that credit unions are prepared to help fill the void left by Chrysler Financial and that we are stepping up to be on the side of domestic auto makers,” said David Adams, CUcorp CEO.As a result of the bankruptcy filing, Chryslers lending arm, Chrysler Financial will stop providing loans for new Chrysler vehicles. GMAC will take over lending to Chrysler dealers.Other fallout from the bankruptcy filing includes the closing of 3,600 Chrysler dealers in the U.S., the selection of a new board of directors and a partnership between Chrysler and Fiat. Fiat will provide Chrysler with technical operations and build at least one vehicle model in a Chrysler plant.The U.S. government will fund Chrysler with up to $8 billion to support the auto maker through the bankruptcy process and after. The Canadian government is also expected to provide $1 for every $3 in support.“These events only reinforce the importance of the Invest in America program and the opportunities that are present for credit unions because of the hardships of the auto industry that serve to make credit unions more relevant and more important for the automakers and for our whole economy,” Adams said.Along with Chrysler’s incentives, General Motors is offering a “Total Confidence” program as part of Invest in America. The GM program also runs to the end of the month and offers credit union members vehicle value protection and payment protection if the consumer loses their job after purchasing a new GM vehicle.“These incentives are quickly announced, short-term and are always changing, so it’s a good time to buy now,” Adams said.According to Adams, Invest in America’s master contract with both Chrysler and GM runs through June 30, and he expects the contract will be extended for both auto makers. The incentive programs, he said, are being developed on a month-to-month basis.Currently, the Invest in America program is approaching 100,000 in vehicles sold through the first three months of 2009. It has brought $2.1 billion in revenue to General Motors and Chrysler through the 1,300 participating credit unions.–[email protected]

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