Ford Motor Co. has quietly added the first cash incentives to its Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, two chrome-plated sport-utility vehicles that help define the upscale end of the full-size segment.
Last week, Ford made the 1998 Expedition and Navigator eligible for special customer appreciation certificates that give buyers $750 off the purchase of a new vehicle.
The sport-utilities, which range in price from about $30,000 to $46,000, were previously exempt from the program Ford launched in April for nearly all its cars and trucks.
Ford spokeswoman Joy Wolfe said the No. 2 auto maker is responding to aggressive consumer incentives of up to $1,000 that General Motors Corp. has on its Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Suburban competitors.
Ford also took steps to combat GM's strong full-size pickup truck sales performance by slashing financing rates and extending them to F-Series pickup trucks of less than 8,500 pounds. All models, except the new Super Duty trucks, now qualify for a 1.9% rate on a 36-month loan.
The customer appreciation discounts and other incentives run through July 7.