Hoping to shift its inventory swiftly, Ford has upped the US market incentives ante by offering customers no payments until January 2003 on all Ford brand 2002 models.

The deferred payments offer is in addition to the current 0% financing or cash rebates applying to 2002 models. Ford currently is offering 0.0% financing for up to 60 months or up to $3,500 cash rebates on most models.

Ford is calling the offer 'free ride' and it is available Thursday, Sept. 12 through Monday, Sept. 30.

Steve Lyons, Ford Division president said: "Customers who were waiting to buy a vehicle next year can take advantage of the great financing and cash rebates now with no payments until 2003."

Corporate advertising for the "free ride" program begins Sept. 12 with national and top 30 market newspaper print ads. Network television spots focusing on the freedom of flexibility will begin Saturday, Sept. 14. Regional and local dealer ads will follow.