DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co., fresh from posting its first annual profit since 2005, today launched an incentive conquest program that runs through March 1.
The program targets people who own Honda, Acura, Toyota, Lexus or Scion vehicles that are 1995 models or newer.
The owners of eligible vehicles would get $1,000 for trade-in assistance on either a purchase or lease of a new Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle. That money is stackable on any other incentives already on a Ford Motor product.
“GM made a move yesterday, and we’re remaining competitive with what’s going on in the marketplace,” said Ford spokesman Robert Parker.
Last week, Toyota Motor Corp. recalled 2.3 million vehicles to fix accelerator pedals that could become stuck. This week Toyota said it would suspend sales of vehicles with the affected pedals.
Yesterday, General Motors Co. announced it would offer a monthlong incentive program to Toyota and Lexus owners.
When asked during an earnings conference call today whether Ford saw an opportunity to capitalize on the problems plaguing Toyota, Ford CEO Alan Mulally said: “It depends on how this all plays out and how fast Toyota gets this behind them. But with people needing vehicles, there is an opportunity that they will be looking at Ford products.”
Ford today reported fourth-quarter net income of $868 million, compared with a loss of $5.9 billion a year earlier.
Ford snapped a three-year streak of losses by recording a net profit of $2.7 billion for 2009, compared with a loss of $14.8 billion in 2008. The 2009 results were boosted by accounting gains and debt reduction efforts.
Ford’s U.S. sales for the year fell 15 percent to 1.6 million vehicles in an overall market that declined 21 percent.
Parker said more shoppers are in the market this year vs. the same time last year. He said that, along with Toyota’s massive recall, means: “There are people concerned about their vehicle and are looking for alternative transportation. Given our lineup and our products, more people than ever are looking at Ford products.
“Now is the time to help them get into our products, and this is a way to do that.”