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Old 10-31-2003, 07:43   #1 (permalink)
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U.S.A.:Ford beefs up incentives on 2004 F-150 as price war heats up

By AMY WILSON | Automotive News

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. armed its 2004 F-150 with higher incentives in the pickup price wars last week.

The automaker has vowed to avoid large cash incentives or 0 percent financing rates for its important redesigned F-150. But Ford lowered the lease finance rate, or lease factor, by 2 percentage points and expanded a $1,000 owner loyalty bonus to more potential buyers.

The rate reduction lowers the monthly payment on an F-150 XLT 4x2 SuperCab by $30 a month - from $430 to $400 - on a 36-month lease with $1,500 down.

Monthly payments could go lower. On the cheaper STX trim level, a 39-month lease with a $2,488 down payment and the $1,000 loyalty bonus produces a monthly payment of $230 before taxes and fees. The incentives do not apply to the 2004 F-150 Heritage, which is the previous-generation design.

Ford began selling the truck in late July with modest consumer loans - starting at 2.9 percent - and a $500 owner loyalty bonus.

The new incentives illustrate the extreme competition in the full-sized truck market. The 2004 F-150s are selling well. But General Motors and Dodge have applied relentless pressure, and advertising for the 2004 Nissan Titan began last week. Incentives on GM's 2004 full-sized pickups have reached $2,000 or 0 percent. Incentives on the 2004 Dodge Ram are $2,500 or 0 percent.

Ford's discounted leases already were available in key truck regions such as Texas.

"We've got the stock and the inventories up to a level where we want to continue to be aggressive," Ford spokesman Jim Cain says.

Starting lease rates on the 2004 F-150 regular cab and SuperCab now range from 4.25 percent to 7 percent, depending on the term. Another set of discounted lease rates applies to SuperCrew models.

A $1,000 loyalty rebate was expanded to owners of 1997 or newer Ford Rangers. The bonus is not available on SuperCrew models.
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Old 11-12-2003, 08:50   #2 (permalink)
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Re: U.S.A.:Ford beefs up incentives on 2004 F-150 as price war heats up

Ford sweetens deals on F-150s

Carmaker cuts interest rates, broadens rebates
November 12, 2003
FREE PRESS NEWS SERVICES

Ford Motor Co. on Tuesday increased discounts on the 2004 F-150 pickup truck, one of its most profitable vehicles, two months after introducing a version that was supposed to reduce the need for profit-eroding incentives.

The automaker cut loan rates on the new F-150 pickup truck to as low as 0.9 percent and will offer rebates to buyers who switch from other brands.

Ford spokesman Jim Cain said the F-150 is offered with a loan rate between 0.9 percent and 2.9 percent, 2 percentage points lower than before.

"We've got the best truck in the market, bar none, and we're feeling aggressive," Cain said. "Our revenue management models tell us we have a volume and market-share opportunity."

Ford "had to sweeten the pot," said Mike Wall, an analyst at automotive forecasting firm CSM Worldwide. Higher incentives on the truck "are inevitable" because of bigger rebates and low-cost loans on competing trucks such as General Motors Corp.'s Silverado and DaimlerChrysler AG's Dodge Ram, he said.

Executives at Ford wanted to hold down incentives on a truck they need to fend off new competition from Japanese companies. James Padilla, Ford's executive in charge of North American operations, said last week that "we're selling out the plants and we don't have to spend" on F-150 incentives.

Chief Executive Bill Ford Jr. faces an onslaught from Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. Both want to loosen the U.S. automakers' grip on pickups, after having carved out a share of the car market. Nissan plans to roll out the Titan pickup later this year and Toyota plans a larger, more powerful Tundra for 2006.

F-Series trucks are the best-selling U.S. line of vehicles and accounted for 24 percent of Ford's sales in the United States in the first 10 months of 2003. Plants in Missouri and Virginia that produce the 2004 F-150 are working overtime.

Financing rates on the F-150 range from 0.9 percent for 36-month loans to 2.9 percent for 60-month terms, Cain said. The rates had been 2.9 percent for 36-month loans and 4.9 percent for 60-month loans.

Ford shares rose 9 cents to $12.31 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. They've lost about two-thirds of their value since 1999.
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