Ford to cover payments if buyer loses job

DEARBORN, MI [INTERACTIVE: Click here to take a look at Detroit's Big Three]

The offer comes as auto sales have been battered by the recession and tight credit.

Ford said Tuesday it will cover payments of up to $700 each month for up to a year on any new Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle if consumers lose their jobs. The program runs until June 1.

Hyundai Motor Co. has been offering a deal that allows buyers to return a vehicle within a year if they can't make the payments due to a job loss or disability. That offer helped curb the decline in the South Korean carmaker's U.S. sales in February.

Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford is also offering zero percent financing on certain Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles.

"Consumers remain anxious about the economy and their own outlook for the future," Ken Czubay, vice president of sales and marketing, said in a statement.

Ford's announcement comes a day after President Barack Obama said the government will back new car warranties issued by General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, who have accepted federal assistance and are seeking more, to help boost consumer confidence about buying their vehicles.

Ford has not requested federal bailout funds.

Ford also said that it will offer more details in April on its program to help charities affected by the economic downturn.

Ford's shares rose 6 cents to $2.82 in premarket trading Tuesday.

- Headlines at a glance

Copyright © 2023 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.