Ford has followed General Motors’ lead in offering zero-interest, six-year loans to buyers of remaining 2004-model vehicles.

The Ford incentives begin next Sunday, end September 30 and exclude the Thunderbird, the Dearborn-based company said, according to the Associated Press (AP).

“It’s mainly a programme that allows us to remain competitive in the marketplace,” Ford spokesman David Reuter told AP.

AP noted that GM recently told its dealers that it would offer the no-interest, six-year loans for three days from Tuesday to September 30 to help unload a backlog of inventory. It excludes the Cadillac and Hummer brands.

Chrysler now offers zero-interest financing for up to five years, and it plans an advertising campaign at month’s end to publicise that and other incentives, spokesman Kevin McCormick told the Associated Press.