Just in time for the peak selling season, Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. recently announced it will offer between $1,000 and $3,000 to consumers who turn in autos that are seven years or older for recycling and then buy a 2010 company model.
Auto analysts expect other manufacturers to boost existing programs in order to avoid losing any advantage during the industry’s current recovery.
“It’s reasonable that other manufacturers will look at it as a tactic to generate showroom traffic and ultimately sales,” says Chris Travell, vice president of the auto practice at Maritz Research. “It’s a different spin on the incentive game. It’s good for the manufacturers but also for consumers and the environment.”
The new “Ford Exclusive Recycle Your Ride” program tops Chrysler Canada and Hyundai Auto Canada, which introduced offers to the market in August 2009 and retained them.
Ford exceeded those programs in cash offers in September 2009 but ended its offer in March 2010 with scrappage of 6,000 vehicles. It plans to continue the new program until the end of June 2010.
In addition to more cash, the big difference in Ford’s program is the much earlier age that consumers can turn in their registered and insured vehicles.
In the past, autos had to be 15 years or older to qualify for the money, but Ford has chopped the eligibility to seven years.
“For the first time in Canada, consumers can turn in a 2003 model year or older vehicles and qualify to receive up to $3,000 towards the purchase of a new 2010 Ford or Lincoln vehicle,” says Kerri Stoakley, the company’s manager of communications.
Under the program, eligible shoppers would receive $1,000 towards the purchase of a new car or compact pickup truck; $2,000 on a full-size sedan, crossover model or sport utility vehicle; and $3,000 on a full-size truck or Lincoln.
Consumers can also qualify for another $300 under the federal government’s “Retire Your Ride” program if their vehicles are older than 15 years.
Ford’s program comes at a time when its sales are soaring and the company is leading the market for the first time in decades. Sales have shot up almost 30 per cent to almost 51,500 in the first quarter of 2010.