Ford Motor Co. on Tuesday, July 10, plans to increase the sales incentives on its 2001 model year Expedition and Excursion full-sized sport-utilities.
Ford says it is clearing out late-model-year inventory. But Ford has lost ground to GM this year in sales of full-sized sport-utilities.
National customer cash for the 2001 Expedition and Excursion will jump from $1,500 to $2,000. But incentives will vary from region to region. For example, one Detroit-area Ford dealership expects its Excursion customer cash rebate to increase to $2,500.
Excursion sales dropped 26.3 percent to 18,099 units in the first six months of the year compared with last year. Expedition sales fell 13.9 percent in the same period.
Ford's decision to increase incentives in the third quarter is not out of the ordinary, says Ford Motor Co. spokeswoman Karen Shaughnessy. Offering sweeter deals to clear out stock before a new model year is a common practice. The Expedition is in the last year of its product cycle.
In contrast, sales of General Motors full-sized sport-utilities are rising. Sales of the Chevrolet Tahoe, for example, increased 33.2 percent to 97,056 units in the first half of the year.
GM does not have a national incentive for any of its full-sized sport-utilities, but the vehicles have carried regional incentives. For instance, James Chevrolet of Clinton Township, Mich., says GM eliminated on Tuesday, July 3, the $1,000 customer cash on Tahoes and Suburbans. GM has maintained the dealership's $1,000 in dealer cash for both vehicles.
'In this (full-sized sport-utility) segment, we outsold Ford by (about) 130,000 units through the first six months of the year,' said Jeff Roegner, GM spokesman. 'Going at that pace and having record sales for all those vehicles, I don't think we would have to change our incentive plan at all.'