Ford Motor Company is offering its dealers $5,000 to $6,000 bonuses to sell some 16,000 cars from the 2016 model year, as it works to clear showrooms for 2017 models, reports Automotive News.
That figure represents about 2.8% of Ford’s dealer stock, and includes $5,000 on the C-MAX, C-MAX Energi, Focus Electric, and Fiesta, as well as $6,000 on the Fusion Hybrid, gasoline-powered Focus, and the Taurus. The bonus program started on March 17th and ends today, April 3rd, Automotive News says.
While the practice of “punching” vehicles – that is, dealers bolstering sales performance figures by buying up cars and stowing them or using them in loaner fleets until they can be sold as used – is an ongoing problem, Ford says these models aren’t being punched because they don’t qualify as loaners. The company also says that, with similar incentive programs, about 97 percent of the vehicles sold are titled to customers, with just 3 percent being sold to dealers.
Ford has been successful so far in its attempts to reduce inventory nationwide, cutting its car inventory from a 97-day supply at the start of February to a 74-day supply as of March 1st. More temporary plant closures may be on the horizon, though, as car sales continue to decline.