Ford to offer discount plan on most models
Ford Motor Co. is rolling out an extensive incentive program next week that will offer significant discounts on almost all its models in a year-end push to drive up sales and market share.
The Friends & Neighbors program will offer as much as $2,000 on top of incentives Ford already offers and will run from Nov. 3 through the end of the year, according to a Ford dealer planning guide obtained by Bloomberg. The discounts will apply to all new 2014, 2015 and 2016 Fords, except for some high-end Mustang models, the F-150 Raptor and some commercial-grade vehicles such as the F-550 truck and E-450 van, the guide said.
Ford is trying to claw back market share it lost during the prolonged factory changeover to produce the aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup, its top-selling model. The second-largest American automaker controlled 15.1 percent of the U.S. market this year through September, even with the same period last year and down from 16 percent in 2013. Ford said Tuesday its profits would decline in the fourth quarter in part because it would spend more heavily on advertising and promotion in the year’s final months.
“You have higher advertising sales promotion in the fourth quarter because of your year-end clearance,” Bob Shanks, Ford’s chief financial officer, said in an interview.
Ford declined to confirm its Friends & Neighbors year-end promotion.
Ford will unleash an advertising blitz featuring employees inviting their friends and neighbors to take advantage of the big deals, according to the Guide. The promotion runs until Jan. 4 and will include enhanced discounts on “Black Friday,” Nov. 27, and in the year’s “final days,” according to the guide.
Ford’s U.S. sales rose 4.7 percent this year through September, when they jumped 23 percent as F-Series inventory finally returned to normal following an almost two-year overhaul of a pair of factories that assemble the F-150 version.
Ford’s incentives per vehicle rose to $4,647 in September, up $660 from a year earlier, the company has said. It offered no-interest, six-year loans in September on most models. Average prices on Ford models still rose to $33,800 per vehicle, up $2,100 from a year earlier, the automaker has said.