Ford extends incentives amid price war
Reuters / June 05, 2003
Ford Motor Co. fired off another round in Detroit's profit-eroding price war on Thursday by saying it was extending its U.S. consumer incentives program through July 9.
The announcement came just two days after DaimlerChrysler warned that its Chrysler unit would post a sizable second-quarter loss due to escalating U.S. incentives, which are devouring revenues and profit margins.
Heavy discounts have become standard fare in the U.S. auto market ever since General Motors introduced interest-free loans and big cash rebates to bolster demand after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Wall Street analysts, citing bloated vehicle inventories and the wobbly economic recovery, say discounting is unlikely to go away anytime soon.
Ford's latest program includes rebates of up to $3,000 on many vehicles and "zero percent" financing for up to five years on a select number of new cars and trucks, company spokesman Jim Cain said.
As part of an enhanced bid to lure shoppers into showrooms, he said Ford was also now offering to match customer downpayments totaling up to $1,000 toward the purchase of new Ford Taurus mid-size cars.
Matching downpayments had been limited previously to purchases of Ford's aging Windstar minivan, soon to be replaced by a new model dubbed the Freestar.
GM and Chrysler rolled out their own new incentives programs earlier this week, which include interest-free loans for most vehicles in their lineups or up to $4,000 in cash rebates.
Since April, Detroit's Big Three have repeatedly tweaked incentive offers that were already averaging more than $3,000 per vehicle.
Even foreign automakers have been ratcheting up the incentives. Toyota Motor Corp. is offering short-term, interest-free loans on its Camry sedan, while Hyundai Motor Co. Ltd. has had interest-free loans on some models.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....