Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006, 08:00 PM UPDATED 11:59 AMBy Nick Zulovich
DEARBORN, Mich. -- Ford is rolling out a zero-percent APR incentive program starting today called the Labor Day Sales Event that's available to all qualifying consumers, including those with subprime credit ratings, three Ford representatives confirmed Wednesday.
The program kicks off today and runs until Sept. 5, offering zero-percent financing for up to 72 months on essentially all 2006 models, according to Whitney Drake, a Ford spokeswoman.
"Average monthly savings for a consumer is up to $100," Drake said Wednesday. She went on to say that Ford's launching an advertising blitz for its new incentive program, including TV, print and a significant amount of Internet. Drake said the Internet portion of the advertising initiative places roadblocks at MSN, Yahoo and Weather.com.
"During the 10-day sales period, we expect to reach 70 percent of the total Internet audience," Drake pointed out, noting that the company expects 775 million hits.
Although this incentive program is open to consumers with subprime crediting ratings, Ford executives said a consumer must qualify to get the zero-percent APR.
Christine Solie, a spokeswoman for Ford Motor Credit, said Wednesday, "Ford Motor Credit has not changed its purchase policies (meaning the company has always financed consumers with subprime credit ratings, as long as they qualify).
Meredith Libbey, public affairs manager for Ford Motor Credit, added, "We buy a broad spectrum of business and this offer will apply to qualified buyers across the range."
Solie explained, "We have a robust underwriting process that includes factors besides FICO scores. We have always offered financing to a broad range of credit scores. We consistently have a broad spectrum of credit risk. This is an opportunity for customers to buy Ford vehicles at a very affordable monthly payment."
Libbey concluded, "If dealers have questions, they should direct them to their Ford Motor Credit branch."