By Bill Koenig
Dearborn, Michigan, July 26 (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co. is offering dealers as much as $4,000 cash back to buy Ranger small pickup trucks for their internal use as the second-largest automaker tries to spur demand for the slow-selling vehicle.
The offer began Wednesday, runs through July 31 and is expected to add as many as 3,000 sales, spokeswoman Susan Krusel said. The dealer incentive is higher than the $2,500 to $3,500 consumer rebates on Rangers. The automaker has had similar dealer incentives in the past, Krusel said.
Ranger first-half sales in the U.S. fell 25 percent to 113,814 from a year earlier. The dealer incentive comes as sales competition intensifies, with Ford and rivals General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler bringing back no-interest financing this month to clear showrooms of 2002-model vehicles.
U.S. auto sales may rise 4.8 percent this month from July 2001, helped by the return of no-interest loans, according to a Luckey Consulting Group Inc. forecast.
Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford's shares rose 4 cents to $12.60. They have fallen 20 percent this year.