Ford announced on Tuesday that it would continue its current national sales incentives programmes in the United States essentially unchanged until September 2.

Offers include customer cash rebates of up to $US4,000, 0% financing for up to 60 months on many models and bonus cash programs on Taurus, Ranger, Windstar and Excursion. Ford has also extended a special $750 'Military Appreciation' discount.

"Ford's sales performance has been strong so far this year, and these programmes will help keep our momentum going as the economy gathers steam, thanks to low interest rates, tax cuts and the stock market rebound," said Ford Division president Steve Lyons. "We think the second half of 2003 will be stronger than the first."

Ford claims that, for 2003 to the end of June six models - Focus, Taurus, Mustang, Crown Victoria, Escape and Expedition - have seen increased sales and market share compared with last year.

Expedition sales are up 17% in a segment that is down 2%; Escape sales are up 14% in a segment up 6%; Focus sales are up 4% in a segment down 4%; Mustang sales are up 9% in a segment down 22%; Taurus sales are up 4% in a segment that is down 6% and Crown Victoria sales are up 4% in a segment down 3%.