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O'Connor Says Ford Flexible Manufacturing Plants Will Help Cut Incentives

February 13, 2003

In an interview reported by Dow Jones, Jim O'Connor, president of North American sales and marketing for Ford, said that Ford is hoping that its new 'flexible manufacturing' plants will, by allowing production to be more closely modulated to demand, help the company reduce incentives.

"You don't put incentives on something that has supply and demand matched," O'Connor reportedly said in the interview at the Chicago Show carried by Dow Jones.

It's still a buyers market for cars, O'Connor noted. Comerica Bank's (CMA) affordability index for car buying said it takes 20 weeks of the median family's income to buy a car, compared with 19.9 weeks in January.

Dow Jones said that although car prices appear to be rising, the index is still below the 20.4 weeks of income it took to buy a car in 2002 and the 21.4 weeks in 2001.

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