Chrysler offers May incentives to boost U.S. sales image

Chrysler Group LLC said Tuesday it will offer zero-percent financing on most 2010 model year vehicles through June 1.

The move is the latest in the incentive battle that car makers have been waging for the past month or so. Toyota Motor Corp., which sparked the incentives race in March, on Monday said it would extend its no-interest loans, subsidized lease rates and free maintenance on some vehicles for a third month.

Automakers have been trying to control incentives, which eat into profits and can hurt a brand’s image. Chrysler had the highest incentives in the industry in April, at $3,374 per vehicle, according to Edmunds.com. But that was $1,000 lower than the automaker spent last April, when the market was at a 30-year low.

Chrysler is offering its richest incentives on the 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Commander sport-utility vehicles, including no-interest financing or $4,000 in rebates. The former model is being replaced in a few months with a redesigned version and the latter is being discontinued.