GM, Ford extend 0%

DETROIT - General Motors and Ford Motor Co. gave prospective buyers an early Thanksgiving gift last week and threw in an early Christmas present.

Both companies extended their 0 percent financing offers. As usual, GM acted first, announcing that the no-interest loans will continue until Jan. 2. Ford chimed in with an even better deal: 0 percent interest until Jan. 14.

That set off more speculation: What will GM do on Jan. 2? Will it extend again, or will it let Ford be king of the hill for 12 days - nearly half a month?

At each company, the no-interest loans are for contracts of 36 months or less. They apply to both 2001 and 2002 cars and light trucks. At Ford, the rate on 2002 models rises to 3.9 percent for 48-month loans and 5.9 percent for 60-month obligations. On 2001s, it is 0.9 percent for 48 months and 3.9 percent for 60 months.

On 2001 and 2002 GM models, it is 0 percent for 36 months for cars, the Pontiac Aztek, the Buick Rendezvous and mid-sized vans. The rate is 1.9 percent for 48 months and 3.9 percent for 60 months. For all pickups, sport-utilities, full-sized vans and medium-duty trucks, the step-ups are 0.0/3.9/5.9 percent.

Ford Motor's program excludes the Ford Escape and Thunderbird. Omitted at GM are most Cadillacs, the Chevrolet Corvette, and the 2002 Saturn Vue and L100 Special Edition.

At noon Friday, Nov. 16, the Chrysler group had not acted on an extension of 0 percent financing. Chrysler's program is set to expire today, Nov. 19.

Among the import badges, 0 interest loans are offered by Toyota, Daewoo, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Suzuki.

You can reach John K. Teahen Jr. at autonews@crain.com

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