Ford Tries to Cash in on Cash for Clunkers

Posted: June 26, 2009

Do you need a new car? Do you have an old car to part with? Are you confused about how to participate in the "Cash for Clunkers" program you've heard so much about? Ford Motor Company would like to talk to you.

We expect every automaker to start promoting the program in order to sell their own cars, but we're a little surprised at how quickly Ford beat its competitors to the punch. Autoblog reports, "Less than 24 hours after President Obama signed CARS into law, the automaker has launched a new web page to help you determine if your clunker is eligible." The "Let Ford Recycle Your Ride" page "features an eligibility calculator that will help you easily determine if your particular vehicle is both less than 25 years old and gets 18 mpg combined or less." It will also...ahem...suggest a few new cars you might consider buying.

Washington, D.C.'s Examiner notes, "The website also provides customers with a direct link to Ford Motor Credit so customers can get pre-approved before going into their local dealership."

But perhaps we should not be surprised that Ford was ready to pounce. Business Week reports that the company has had more success than its rivals in benefitting from similar programs in other countries. "The happy combination of government stimulus and spiffy new compacts [like the Ford Fiesta, which comes stateside next year] has sheltered Ford from the worst of the industry's woes in Europe." While many European automakers have fared as poorly as their U.S. counterparts, "Ford is gaining market share."

In the U.S., Ford's best-selling product, and the source of most of its profit, is still the full-size F-150 pickup. Some analysts believe, however, that the American version of the Cash for Clunkers program will boost truck sales more than car sales. The program provides a voucher of $3,500 for a new truck that gets just 2 mpg more than the truck it replaces - a fairly low standard that is easy to meet with virtually any new truck purchase.

For details on how to qualify for the program, see our Cash for Clunkers FAQ. To keep up to date on the latest developments, check out our Cash for Clunkers News page, where we've gathered the latest cash for clunkers news and what it means for you all in one place. If you already know which car you want, you can contact local dealers here.

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