I'm linking to the article that gives the most information I could find on the program.
The fine print is that, if you buy a new car that qualifies for the program, Chrysler will give you a card that will allow you to purchase 700 gallons of gasoline at $2.999 for 3 years. It has to be either 87 octane (Regular Unleaded), or for applicable cars, E85 or Diesel. Of course, they'd love it if you did buy E85, since it's so much cheaper than regular gasoline. They wouldn't like it so much if you bought Diesel, which at least in our area is much higher than Regular Unleaded. But that means that you're buying a truck, which means you're probably going to go through more than 700 gallons in a year anyway. Oh, and you have to choose between this program and "other available incentives".
Let's look at this economically. Average price of as right now is $3.61. If the price doesn't go up any more, that's a savings of $1,281 over the 3 years. If the price of gas rises $.50 each year, you'll save $2,300 over the 3 years. The real question is how much in other available incentives you'll be giving up.
I'm curious to know: Is anyone going to go with a new Chrysler over another brand (a foreign brand that gets better mileage, for example) because of this promotion?
Yeah, any other incentives on the cars cannot be had if you take the gas card. According to one report, one of the Trucks Chrysler is offering currently has around $5500 in incentives on it. Gas would need to be at $5.60/gallon to make up that money and Chrysler would certainly make up that money in interest on your car loan.
"Tattoos are the mullets of the aughts." - Mike Naimark
The fact that you saud New York Times is probably part of the problem because they're not exaclty known for accuracy in reporting. Right, they're only the single most respected news source in the entire world.