Friday, July 13, 2007

Ford and GM expand deals to boost sales

Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Ford and GM expand deals to boost sales
Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. said Monday it is extending its July Fourth incentives through the summer and General Motors Corp. is doubling the incentives on its new full-size pickups as the automakers move to bolster sagging sales.

Ford's offers include zero-percent financing for 36 months on all 2007 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models, as well as $2,007 in cash on trucks and SUVs. Customers can opt for up to $2,500 cash instead of the free financing.

Sales of Ford's domestic brands were down 8 percent last month and are down 11.3 percent for the year.

One bright spot in June was truck sales, which rose 2.6 percent -- a sharp contrast to the double-digit declines in truck demand reported by the other U.S. automakers. Ford F-Series outsold its top rival, the Chevy Silverado, by more than 20,000 units in June.

To maintain momentum, Ford is offering dealers that meet July F-Series sales goals a chance to sell one of 50 Shelby GT500 KR editions when they go on sale next spring. Ford plans to produce 1,000 of these 540-horsepower sports cars.

Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood would not comment on the initiative, first reported by Automotive News. "We're aggressively promoting our trucks to continue our 30-plus years of truck leadership," he said.

GM is trying to recover lost ground by offering up to $2,000 in cash on the Silverado and its sibling, the GMC Sierra. The automaker is also offering to pay up to six months' lease payments for owners of its midsize SUVs, as well as the Chevy Equinox and Pontiac Torrent, who trade up to a 2007 Buick Ranier, GMC Envoy or Chevy Trailblazer and finance through GMAC.

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