Ford Built to Lend a Hand Program Offers Six Months Payment Relief
Ford is offering eligible new car customers in the United States up to six months of payment relief through its newly announced Built to Lend a Hand program. Co-developed with dealers across the country, the program offers support to new and existing Ford customers affected by the coronavirus and its far-reaching economic impact.
“Our dealers are incredibly connected to their communities,” said Kumar Galhotra, president, North America. “They’re willing to lend a hand by doing whatever it takes to help our customers in this time of need.”
Under the Built to Lend a Hand program, customers who finance through Ford Credit can qualify to have the first three months’ payments covered by Ford and the subsequent three months’ payments deferred. The offer is good on any new 2019-2020 model year vehicles excluding the 2020 Super Duty.
Ford says that 75 percent of dealers in the United States have the ability to offer remote vehicle delivery for sales and service purposes. Dealers who reinforce social distancing by offering to deliver vehicles to customers will be eligible for incentive payments from Ford.
“We’re a family business with a 100-plus-year legacy of steering through crises all over the world,” said Mark LaNeve, vice president, U.S. marketing, sales, and service. “We’ve faced down many kinds of disasters, and we’ll face down this one just the same — taking care of our customers along the way.”
In addition to the Ford Built to Lend a Hand program, the automaker this week launched a hotline that lets customers financing or leasing through Ford Credit discuss options for payment deferment.
Ford draws $15.4B in credit, suspends company dividend
Ford on Thursday notified lends that it plans to draw $13.5 billion from its corporate credit facility and $2 billion from its supplemental credit facility. Having the addition $15.4 billion in cash on its balance sheet allows Ford to offset the capital effects of North American manufacturing shutdowns, which will run through March 30. The automaker notes that it exceeded its cash and liquidity targets for a possible economic downturn by the end of last year with respective totals of $22 billion and $35 billion.
Ford is also suspending its dividend and withdrawing the financial performance guidance issued Feb. 4. First-quarter financials are still on track for the planned April 28 announcement.
“Like we did in the Great Recession, Ford is managing through the coronavirus crisis in a way that safeguards our business, our workforce, our customers and our dealers during this vital period,” said Ford CEO Jim Hackett. “As America’s largest producer of vehicles and largest employer of autoworkers, we plan to emerge from this crisis as a stronger company that can be an engine for the recovery of the economy moving forward.”
Hackett added that upticks in auto demand in China are a cause for optimism about overall economic recovery post-coronavirus.
Ford’s Impact: Recently named a top employer for veterans by MilitaryTimes