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Ford Retains Blue Oval Dealer Bonuses Until 2005

December 17, 2002

Ford Motor Co. said Dec. 16 it will not slash cash payments to dealers who meet customer satisfaction goals, a move that could have damaged relations between the automaker and its retailers, according to the Detroit News.

The automaker's Ford division said last month it planned a make a 60-percent cut to the bonuses it pays dealers who qualify for its 2 1/2-year-old Blue Oval Certified program. But Ford reconsidered in recent days after receiving

hundreds of calls and e-mails from incensed dealers, the News said.

Instead, Ford will stop the cash bonuses -- which cost about $700 million a year -- in

March 2005. Until then, Ford will continue to pay qualified dealers a refund equal to 1.25 percent of the invoice price of each car and truck sold -- or an average of $250 per vehicle.

NADA Chairman H. Carter Myers III applauded the move. “Ford’s announcement Monday regarding the future of the Blue Oval Certified program is a very positive development for dealers,” Myers said. “This is a good example of Ford listening to its dealers and, as a result, making a better decision. Rather than acting unilaterally, Ford put a proposal on the table and asked for dealer input. Ford clearly listened to the concerns of its dealers and came up with a better approach.

“The Blue Oval decision is further evidence that Ford Motor Company values its relationship and credibility with its dealers,” Myers said. “In addition, the decision is in line with recent Ford moves to 'get back to basics' by refocusing on building high quality, exciting vehicles and leaving the retail operations to its dealer partners.

“This move will further the progress Ford has been making this year in improving relations with its dealers,” Myers said.

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