DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group is already offering discounts to bolster sales of the newly-launched Pacifica ‘crossover’ SUV, dealers have told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The report, carried by Dow Jones Newswires, said that, until June 2, returning lease customers are eligible for a $US1,000 "loyalty" discount on the $35,000 vehicle. The Pacifica will also be added to a $500 trade-in dealer cash programme announced on other vehicles last week and the additional money should help dealers offer customers more attractive monthly payments, the WSJ added.

The report noted that Chrysler has big hopes for the Pacifica, a blend of SUV, minivan and sedan introduced in spring. But shoppers have balked at paying top prices for the new Chrysler, the Wall Street Journal said.

Early discounts on pricey new cross-segment models are not confined to the US. Just-auto noted this week that car buyer websites are advertising discounts of around £1,000 on General Motors arm Vauxhall’s new Opel-designed Signum – a four-seat ‘executive’ luxury hatchback similar in size and design to the upcoming Chevrolet Malibu Maxx.