Ford Offers to Make Jobless Customers' Car Payments!

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Tue, 03/31/2009 - 4:22pm.

Ford Motor Co. says it is offering a protection plan to cover payments for up to a year if customers lose their jobs. Under the program, Ford is also offering zero percent financing through its finance arm Ford Motor Credit on some Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles, the company announced today.

Until June 1, it will cover payments of up to $700 each month for up to a year on any new Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle if consumers lose their jobs.

"˜Consumers remain anxious about the economy and their own outlook for the future,' Ken Czubay, vice president of sales and marketing, said in the statement.

Ford also said it will work through its dealers to provide support to local charities because of the recession, with details to be announced in April.

The offer comes at a time when U.S. vehicle sales are at their lowest levels in at least 27 years under the pressure of tight credit and weak consumer confidence.

South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co has outperformed almost all major U.S. carmakers so far this year, helped by a program launched in January that allows customers to return vehicles if they lose their jobs within the first year of the purchase.

Ford's U.S. sales plunged 44 percent in the first two months of 2009, compared to a market that declined 39 percent overall. Hyundai's sales rose 5 percent over the period.

Ford is the only U.S. carmaker that has not sought government funding to survive the downturn.

Ford's two domestic rivals General Motors Corp and Chrysler LLC have relied on $17.4 billion of government loans to survive since the start of the year.

MailForeignService - March 31, 2009 - source DailyMailUK

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Tue, 03/31/2009 - 4:22pm.