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.
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.....