Fiat has been rather feisty over the past couple of weeks. Earlier last month at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Fiat head of product marketing, Matt Davis, claimed that the Nissan Leaf is “visual pollution.” Nissan returned fire quickly with a simple, yet effective tactic of repeating of the insult back to Fiat. Now, it looks like Fiat’s long-running rivalry with another European manufacturer, Volkswagen, is making its way stateside. Chrysler–owned by Fiat–is taking aim at Volkswagen offering owners of the German made cars a $1,000 rebate to trade in their vehicles. Fiat, the parent company of Chrysler, is attempting to grab back some of the market share that Volkswagen (its main European rival) vehicles currently command.
How it works; if you currently own or lease a vehicle from Volkswagen, you qualify for a $1,000 “conquest” incentive. This will go towards the final price of whatever new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, or Fiat model that you’ve decided to move into. Chrysler Group launched the $1,000 Volkswagen Conquest Bonus Cash incentive on Dec. 4 which is open to all 2012 and 2013 vehicles from any Pentastar brand except for Ram. Models that are not available for the $1,000 rebate include the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, the SRT Viper, and the Dodge Dart. The Dodge Dart SE Aero model is included in this rebate program. The $1,000 Volkswagen Conquest Bonus Cash incentive system runs now until January 2, 2013.
It should be noted that conquest rebates are a common practice with automakers today, but it’s not often that one brand targets a specific competitor. Chrysler, on occasion, has launched these types of promotions in the past and has targeted a specific automaker before with Toyota’s trucks and SUVs coming to mind. As for the reason why Chrysler is taking on Volkswagen exclusively, that remains to be unseen. However, we believe that Chrysler’s parent company, Fiat, had something to do with it.
Even still, the animosity is questionable between Chrysler and Volkswagen. The German automaker currently rebadges Chrysler minivans to sell as the Routan, which just so happens to be the only model not available for the $1,000 rebate. Chrysler didn’t provide comment when reached about why the Routan was excluded from the promotion.