In the United States -- as in other industrialised western countries -- automobile manufacturers have been hard hit by the current economic recession.
GV Car sales showrooms. (2 shots)
SV Customer looking at car.
SV & CU Advertising poster. (4 shots)
GV & SU Women on telephones making out rebate documents. (5 shots)
AERIAL VIEW Stockpiled cars.
GV Cars in park.
GV Car Transporter.
GV Car showrooms.
GV PAN Chrysler dealer in Vermont.
SV & CU Cars parked. (4 shots)
SV ZOOM OUT TO GV Chrysler/Plymouth sign.
GV Bob Ray sitting in office. (2 shots)
CU Car rebate advertisements. (2 shots)
GV & SV Mechanics around car. (2 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: JACK PAXTON: "Compared to what it was a few weeks ago the car business is booming. For the second ten days of the month Chrysler had a sales increase of ninety percent over the preceding ten days.
"Chrysler... which two weeks ago became the first car maker to give rebates -- in effect a lower price.
"Whatever else is helping, rebates are having an effect. Chrysler -- the company that was hunting most -- had by far the biggest increase. This is the room in Detroit where the rebates come from. People who buy certain models get a refund of two to four hundred dollars.
"Partly because of that, Chrysler's huge inventory is being substantially reduced for the first time in months.
"Just a few weeks ago, unsold chrysler products covered the Michigan State Fairground. Now the fairgrounds are going back to the horses. It's hoped the inventory will drop to the point where Chrysler will call back some of the workers it's had to lay off."
But the new scheme hasn't helped all car salesmen as T.V.N.'s David Klein explains.
"It billed itself as Vermont's largest and oldest Chrysler-Plymouth dealership....now its going out of business for not enough cars are being sold.
"As of Monday the cars here will go on sale at cost....all forty-five of them. Then, Friday, they will close up the doors for good. Last year this agency lost twenty-five thousand dollars...if it stays open this year, it will lose more.
"Bob Ray has worked in this agency since 1940. He took it over from his father a few years ago and now he's going out of business.
"Since the rebate, the Dodge dealer down the street has sold thirty-five cars but that's not doing anything for Ray....or for the sixteen employees that ??? letting go."
Initials VS 3.00 VS 3.25
REPORTERS: JACK PAXTON AND DAVID KLEIN
THIS FILM IS SERVICED WITH NARRATION BY N.B.C's JACK PAXTON AND T.V.N.'s DAVID KLEIN.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In the United States -- as in other industrialised western countries -- automobile manufacturers have been hard hit by the current economic recession.
Thousands of workers have been laid off and huge areas of land have become parking lots for cars the companies are unable to sell.
But, within the country, 2 new scheme has dramatically boosted the sales of some models of cars within the last few weeks.
Chrysler pioneered the scheme two weeks ago. Under it the buyer gets a cash rebate of between 200 and 400 U.S. dollars (about 80 pounds sterling to 160 pounds sterling) on certain models. Other car manufacturers have introduced similar schemes.
Chrysler say the scheme has had immediate effects -- during the second ten days of January the company sold 90 percent more cars than during the first ten day period of the month.
But the scheme has come too late to save many smaller automobile dealers.
Bob Ray is a car dealer in Burlington, Vermont. The rebate scheme has brought him no rise in sales figures and he is closing down.
The firm lost 25,000 U.S. dollars (about 10,800 pounds sterling) last year and the losses, he says, would have been higher this year if the showroom doors had stayed open.
So, the firm is selling more than 40 cars at cost price and -- after nearly 50 years in business -- is dismissing its staff of 16.