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Ford Offers 4.9% Rate, Rebates on 4 Models

From Reuters

Ford Motor Co. today fired the first round in what could be a new auto incentives war, announcing that it is offering 4.9% financing programs on four models, or cash rebates of around $750.

Ford also announced huge rebates of up to $3,000 for some 1988-model cars.

Ford said it is offering the 4.9% rate on 24-month loans on its 1989 Ford Escort and Festiva small cars, Mercury Tracer subcompact and the Ford Ranger small truck.

It is offering a 3.9% financing rate on Tracer models sold in California.

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As an alternative, buyers can choose cash rebates of $300 and $400 on Festiva models, $500 on Escort, $750 on Tracer and $500 to $750 off Ranger truck models.

Ford also said it would offer big rebates on leftover 1988 cars. The largest incentive, $3,000, is being offered on the Merkur XR4Ti model, discontinued last year.

Other big rebates on last year’s models include $2,000 off on 1988 Scorpio models, $1,000 off on 1988 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe and Mercury Cougar XR7, and $600 off on other 1988 Thunderbird and Cougar models. Ford recently brought out restyled versions of the two autos.

The Ford rebate and incentive offers run through March 2. Ford’s previous incentive offer was scheduled to expire Thursday.

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Ford Vice President Robert Rewey, head of North American sales operations, said the low-interest rate programs were prompted by concern over consumer demand.

“We achieved significant sales gains in our cars and trucks during 1988, and sales continue to look good overall in the first 10 days of the new year, but slowly climbing interest rates are causing some customer concern,” Rewey said.

He said car buyers told Ford that they would like to have an option of cash allowances or low-rate financing to better fit their needs.


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