Can 'cash for clunkers' drive Detroit out of a hole? Well, not quite...


On first reading, today's press release from Chrysler sounds like great news. The company's sales are up 30 percent from June, and five models have set sales record for July. Sales of Jeep Patriots have increased by 134 percent over last year, and Caliber sales are up 63 percent. PT Cruisers have shot up by 24 percent, and "consumer traffic" in Jeep, Dodge, and Chrysler showrooms was more than twice that of July 2008.

On the surface, then, it was a fine month for Chrysler. The company's sales of 88,900 units were fairly impressive, as were the figures of 76,693 retail vehicles moved. In fact, retail sales were up 52 percent over July 2008 and 106 percent over June 2009.

Originally published