Daily News Briefs: July 11, 2012

By Kelsey Mays  on July 11, 2012

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On the heels of GM offering a 60-day buyback guarantee, Chrysler will let buyers put off payments for 90 days, the Detroit News reports. The program applies to Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat vehicles and is part of the automaker's Summer Clearance Event aimed at selling off 2012 inventory. To qualify, buyers have to finance through Ally Financial, Chrysler's preferred lender, at least for now. Chrysler's dealer stock is almost entirely 2012s: As of today, just 0.7% of Cars.com's national inventory of the automaker's five brands is 2013 models. That's the smallest portion of 2013s for major automakers, following Nissan/Infiniti (2.6%), Honda/Acura (3.5%), Toyota/Lexus/Scion (6.1%), GM (8.5%), Ford/Lincoln (19.7%) and Hyundai/Kia (43%).

In other news:

  • Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will shill the compact Buick Verano in an upcoming ad campaign. The 6-foot-5 Manning will fit better than the 7-foot-1 Shaquille O'Neal did in Buick's unintentionally hilarious LaCrosse spot.
  • Union workers at Hyundai and Kia factories in South Korea authorized their leaders to strike after wage negotiations collapsed, the Detroit News reports. The strike could threaten inventory for the Korean automaker, which imported 41.1% of its passenger cars to the U.S. through the first half of 2012.
  • A new study by McKinsey Research predicts lithium-ion batteries should drop more than 60% in cost by 2020, which could lower EV prices, Automotive News reports.
  • Despite the potential collapse of a joint venture on electrification with France's PSA Peugeot Citro├źn, BMW will forge ahead on its own hybrid-vehicle research, Bloomberg News reports.
  • Reuters says a government watchdog told the federal government it needs a concrete plan to exit GM and its erstwhile financial arm, Ally Financial (the same lender for Chrysler). Underperforming GM stock has led the U.S. Treasury to retain some 30% of GM and 74% of Ally.

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Senior Consumer Affairs Editor Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price.  Email Kelsey