Ford Motor Co. aims to provide peace of mind to potential customers nervous about buying or leasing a vehicle in an unsettled economy.
The “Ford Promise” offers a built-in option to easily return the vehicle in case customers lose their jobs within the first year. The enrollment period runs through Sept. 30.
The automaker is breaking a campaign today from GTB that includes a 30-second spot and 15-second cutdown to run both nationally and in local dealer markets. It focuses on consumers' desire to “get moving again.”
The automaker has created a website detailing the program. It includes information on how customers can check vehicle inventories and shop remotely.
“We feel like right now, the economy is at the stage of recovery where people want things to be back to normal, they want to buy, but they’re still a little nervous about what the future holds,” says Mark LaNeve, vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service, in a release. “We want them to know we understand that, and we’re here to support them in their buying decisions.”
Research from Cox Automotive indicates that at least 32% of potential customers are delaying automotive purchases, citing market uncertainty and fears of unemployment.
For eligible customers who wish to return a vehicle, Ford Credit will use the National Automobile Dealers Association average trade-in value, reduce the customer’s outstanding balance by that amount and waive up to an additional $15,000. The customer is responsible for any difference remaining.
In addition, the customer is responsible for any late or deferred payments due and vehicle damage. Once the conditions are met, the account is reported as closed and paid.
Ford Promise covers 2019, 2020 and 2021 purchased or leased new, used and certified pre-owned vehicles financed through Ford Credit. Vehicles must be for personal use only; commercial use contracts are ineligible. The complimentary protection begins 30 days after vehicle purchase or lease.
This initiative is the latest program by Ford that supports customers who may have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, “The Built to Lend a Hand” program allowed eligible new car customers in the U.S. to defer payments for up to three months and Ford to pay for another three months, providing up to six months of payment peace of mind.
“Our programs are adapting and evolving as our customers’ wants and needs change,” LaNeve says. “Ford Promise allows our customers to get into a vehicle without having to worry too much about what the future holds.”