Ford said on Wednesday it was offering to waive up to eight months of lease payments on four Ford brand vehicles if those driving them buy or lease a new Ford brand car or truck, Reuters said.


The incentive comes just a couple of weeks after Ford and GM scaled back consumer incentives, which had averaged about $US3,000 a vehicle in December, Reuters noted.


The news agency said the new programme, which runs to the end of February, will be available to customers whose leases on Windstar minivans, Ranger pickups, Taurus sedans or Focus compacts end between March and August.


According to Reuters, GM and Ford have offered so-called lease “pull-ahead” programs before, but not as a regular feature and rarely covering as many months as Ford’s new one.


“That sets a new high-water mark,” John Smith, GM’s head of North American sales, service and marketing, told Reuters. He also said such programmes are hard to match, since car makers don’t know which owners are affected.


One dealer told Reuters Ford’s plan was aggressive. “For the first part of the month, sales for the domestics have not been very strong,” he said.