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Ford Offers Buyouts to 'Development' Dealers

March 11, 2008

Detroit - The Detroit News has reported that Ford Motor Co. has offered to buy out 81 dealerships across the U.S., 62 of which are minority-owned. Ford's Dealer Development program was created as a vehicle to expand minority ownership by providing financial assistance to new dealerships in their first, lean years. The dealerships would pay back the startup costs as they began to turn a profit, eventually achieving full ownership. Ford even guaranteed that, should the dealership fail, the dealer's initial capital investment would be refunded.

"We're ending this policy of returning capital to our dealers," said Ford spokesman Jim Cain. "To be fair to everyone in the program, we're offering one last opportunity to take advantage of it before it goes away forever."

The offer was reportedly made in the form of a letter, mailed to all 81 dealerships last month, requesting that the dealer make their decision by April 1, according to The Detroit News.

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