DETROIT -- With cheaper replacement models on the horizon, Ford Motor Co. marketers will keep a close eye on clearing out 2006 Ford Expeditions.
Ford said last week that it would cut starting prices for the re-engineered and restyled 2007 Expedition by an average of $4,300, compared to 2006 models. The 2007 models have more standard equipment, including side airbags.
The 2007 Expedition goes on sale in September. Its base price is $29,995, including delivery charges. The base price of the 2006 Expedition was $33,480. Base prices for the 2007 Expedition top out at $40,745. That compares with $44,460 for the 2006 version.
Ford marketers say they're not worried about a potential glut of 2006 models, as consumers wait for improved and cheaper 2007 Expeditions.
"The selldown looks like it's in good shape," says Barry Redler, the Ford brand's SUV group marketing manager. "We'll watch it closely."
Ford had 27,100 Expeditions in its U.S. inventory on July 1. That was a 103-day supply, well above the industry ideal of 60 days.
Ford is counting on its "Drive on Us" summer clearance promotion to help clear out Expedition stocks before the 2007 model launch. That promotion is scheduled to end today, July 31.
The promotion offers a $4,000 national cash rebate on the 2006 Expedition. In some regions, the rebate is $5,000. Buyers then can choose another $1,000 in bonus cash or a debit card worth $1,100 intended to defray the cost of gasoline.
As an alternative, buyers can get 0 percent financing for 72 months and the debit card.
Redler wouldn't comment on incentives planned for the 2007 Expedition. But they wouldn't be as generous as the clearance spiffs. Ford's 2007 price cut is part of its strategy to reduce incentives and narrow the gap between sticker prices and transaction prices.
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