Thursday, August 24, 2006

Ford To Boost Sales With 0% Financing

Ford Plans to Offer
Zero-Percent Loans
On Three Brands

August 24, 2006; Page D6

Ford Motor Co. said its Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands will offer zero-percent financing for up to 72 months on 2006 cars and trucks in a bid to clear out inventory before the arrival of 2007 vehicles.

The program starts today and will run through Sept. 5. The financing will be offered to financially sound customers as well as those who have "good but not great credit," Ford spokesman Jim Cain said.

Ford saw sales fall 34% in July compared with a year earlier, partly because the company saw record sales last year due to an employee-pricing promotion. In July, Toyota Motor Corp. for the first time beat Ford in sales volume to become the No. 2 auto maker.

As part of an effort to turn itself around, Ford, of Dearborn, Mich., announced last week that it was cutting 21% of its North American production, which would partially shut at least 10 plants. Ford blamed high gasoline prices, which have led to declining sales in pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

On July 31, Ford scrapped its Drive on Us promotion, which offered zero-percent financing, $1,000 in free gas and cash rebates, to focus on regional incentives for 2006 models. Ford also lowered sticker prices on 2007 models in a bid to bring sales prices closer to actual transaction prices. To increase sales of its crucial F-series pickup trucks, which saw sales fall by 12.3% for the first seven months of this year, Ford cut sticker prices on the 2007 model by as much as $1,400. Read more: HERE

8/24/2006 01:38:00 AM

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