DETROIT — Ford brand dealers want more dealer cash from the factory in 2009.
In 2008, not enough Ford Motor Co. marketing money went to dealer cash, said Brian Jarrett, chairman of the Ford brand's national dealer council.
On any given nameplate, the split between customer rebates and dealer cash has ranged from as much as 100 percent customer cash and no dealer cash to 80 percent customer cash and 20 percent dealer cash, said Jarrett, who owns five Ford domestic-brand stores in central Florida.
The council wants two-thirds customer cash and one-third dealer cash.
"We feel we should have enough customer cash to still have a good, visible message but enough dealer cash to help put deals together," Jarrett told Automotive News.
In an e-mail, Ford spokeswoman Marisa Bradley said: "We will continue to work together with our dealers on the development of future incentive programs."
More dealer cash is especially important when trying to close sales in today's credit-strained economy, Jarrett said. It can help close deals by enabling dealers to pay a higher price for a trade-in vehicle that no longer might be worth what the customer owes. And because dealers can keep some or all of the dealer cash, a higher allowance can help boost dealership profitability.
Dealers are asking for changes on a quarterly basis, Jarrett said.
"Every quarter we bring it up, and every quarter they give a little more," he said. "We're making progress."