Ford is borrowing an idea from Hyundai’s US unit and offering payment protection for new car buyers who lose their jobs.

Its new ‘Advantage Plan’ provides payment protection for up to 12 months of up to US$700 per month on any new Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle, 0% financing on some models and added local charity support.

“Consumers remain anxious about the economy and their own outlook for the future. We at Ford want to do our part to rebuild faith in the marketplace by offering payment protection on every new Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicle for up to a year if our customers lose their jobs,” said sales and marketing chief Ken Czubay.

“Just as important is additional charity support we will provide in conjunction with our local dealers, who are mindful of how non-profit organisations are struggling during this economic downturn,” Czubay added.

Ford will introduce a programme in partnership with its dealers throughout the country to assist local charities impacted by the economic downturn. Details will be announced in April.

All Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles are covered under the advantage plan which runs until 1 June.