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Old 11-26-2002, 06:15   #1 (permalink)
Mr. Embargo
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Embargoland
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Ford Offers Discounts to Workers' Relatives, Friends

Dearborn, Michigan, Nov. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co. is asking U.S. employees and retirees to urge relatives and friends to buy more of the company's vehicles through a discount program as the world's second-largest automaker tries to boost sales.

The expanded X-Plan will give workers an additional personal identification number, obtained on line, that they can give to non- employees for discounts on the company's cars and trucks, Group Vice President James O'Connor wrote in an e-mail to employees. The year-end sales push includes a $200 coupon for X-Plan purchases of Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicles.

`We're focused on ending 2002 with strong results,'' spokeswoman Karen Shaughnessy said.

Ford's U.S. sales this year slid 9.4 percent through October, and its U.S. market share fell to 21.5 percent from 23.2 percent in the year-earlier period, according to Autodata Corp. Ford, which had a net loss of $5.45 billion last year, is cutting jobs, closing plants and introducing new models to try to generate $7 billion in annual pretax profit by 2005.

Ford has about 330,000 U.S. employees and retirees. They can get the additional identification numbers for the discount plan from Wednesday through Jan. 6, the e-mail said.

General Motors Corp. isn't increasing discounts to employees' relatives and friends, said Elaine Redd, a spokeswoman for the largest automaker.

Shares of Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford rose 67 cents to $10.88 at 4:16 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Detroit-based General Motors gained $1.12 to $38.70.
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