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Old 07-27-2006, 05:56   #1 (permalink)
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US:Ford to launch new crossovers with no cash rebates

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Ford to launch new crossovers with no cash rebates

By AMY WILSON | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS
AutoWeek


2007 Ford Edge

DETROIT -- In another move to curb incentive spending, Ford Motor Co. will launch the 2007 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX without cash rebates, its U.S. sales chief says.

The two crossovers will go on sale in November. The company has yet to announce pricing. But it will be low enough to attract retail customers without added cash on the hood, says Cisco Codina, group vice president of North American marketing, sales and service.

"Our intent is to have good leases and good pricing," Codina says. "We don't plan to have any visible cash on those vehicles."

Although pricing won't be announced until later this year, the Edge is expected to carry a base price in the mid-$20,000 range. The Lincoln MKX is likely to carry a base price in the mid-$30,000 range.

It's a continuation of a strategy Ford has pursued in the past couple of years -- to price vehicles closer to expected transaction prices and minimize the heavy incentives that can depress resale values.

But cash rebates can't always be avoided. The 2006 Ford Fusion sedan was introduced carrying a $1,000 cash incentive.

Codina says Ford expects to sell 120,000 units of the Edge annually. He wouldn't provide a volume projection for the MKX.

The Edge can achieve that level of sales in part by hanging on to consumers leaving SUVs. They often are looking at crossovers, and the Edge can help keep buyers who once drove Ford Explorers in Ford showrooms, Codina says.

"We have a huge owner base as it relates to mid-sized SUVs, and the migration is from that to this," he says. "So that's also encouraging for us."
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