Ford Motor Co., following General Motors Corp., said on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2001 that it was extending interest-free loans on the purchase of some new vehicles until Jan. 14, 2002, Reuters reports. It was the second extension of the financing program that Ford introduced in September, soon after GM launched zero-interest loans to help give the economy and U.S. car sales a lift after the Sept. 11 plane attacks in New York and Washington. The Commerce Department reported that total October retail sales were up 7.1 percent, to a seasonally adjusted $306.83 billion, the biggest jump for any month on record, after falling 2.2 percent in September. Excluding cars, however, sales rose just 1.0 percent. Cars traditionally account for about 22 percent of retail sales. Ford said it was now limiting interest-free financing to three-year loans. The program excludes Ford’s new Thunderbird coupe and the Escape sport/utility vehicle. GM’s program excludes Cadillacs, Chevrolet Corvettes, and the upcoming Saturn Vue sport/utility vehicle. Chrysler’s zero- and low-interest loan program is set to expire on Monday, Nov. 19, but it is widely expected to extend it as well. Some foreign carmakers, including Toyota Motor Corp., which is offering loan deals of its own, are also likely to extend bargain-basement loan deals.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials