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Ford's new "Built to Lend a Hand" program gives buyers up to 6 months without payments

Ford is offering more opportunity for buyers to avoid paying for their new truck with a fresh program.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford is offering new vehicle customers the opportunity to defer payments on their new car, truck, or SUV for up to three months. As part of the "Built to Lend a Hand" program, Ford will also make up to three months of payment for new customers.

Only customers who finance through Ford Credit are eligible. The program is for those purchasing new 2019 and 2020 model year vehicles, excluding 2020 F-Series Super Duty.

"We're a family business with a 100-plus year legacy of steering through crises all over the world," said Mark LaNeve, vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service. "We've faced down many kinds of disasters, and we'll face down this one just the same – taking care of our customers along the way."

Remote vehicle delivery and sales assistance is also part of the program. Just over three-quarters of Ford dealers will work with customers on remote vehicle delivery for sales or service. Convenient service scheduling and one-touch access to Roadside Assistance is available via the FordPass app.

The company also is providing dealers additional rewards for helping better support customers during the coronavirus outbreak – including offering payments to dealers who deliver customers' vehicles – instead of asking them to come to dealerships – in March and April.

"Our dealers are incredibly connected to their communities," said Kumar Galhotra, president, North America. "They're willing to lend a hand by doing whatever it takes to help our customers in this time of need."

Ford's Built to Lend a Hand initiative comes on the heels of the Ford Credit program announced Monday, which allows existing U.S. customers affected by coronavirus to call Ford Credit and discuss options if they are having payment difficulty.

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Lincoln will not make a performance variant to compete with Cadillac.

Lincoln

TheLincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade have been duking it out at the top of luxury SUV rankings for decades, but there’s one area of the Caddy’s development that Lincoln won’t touch. In a recent interview, a company executive told Ford Authority that it has no plans to create a performance variant of the Navigator to compete with the upcoming Escalade V from Cadillac.

2022 Lincoln NavigatorThe new Navigator features several upscale touches and excellent tech. Lincoln

That means the Navigator will stick with the powertrain it’s carried for years, which is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that makes 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a smooth ten-speed automatic and either rear- or four-wheel drive. While there’s more than enough power to get the hulking Lincoln moving, it’s not a powertrain that inspires excitement or engagement, and though beefy, it’s tuned much more for comfort and quietness than drama.

Though more than adequate, those specs are a far cry from the numbers we expect from the Escalade V. The full-size bruiser from Cadillac is expected to get a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, similar to the unit seen in the CT5-V Blackwing and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. We don’t know power numbers yet, but the engine should deliver horsepower and torque numbers in the high 600s.

Cadillac Escalade VThe Escalade V will be massively powerful. Cadillac

That Lincoln is taking a different approach isn’t surprising. The automaker has already announced its intention to go all-electric, so pouring more time and resources into creating a performance gas-powered SUV isn’t in line with its goals. Company executives have also expressed a desire to avoid imitating rivals, so the decision to leave a performance Navigator behind is not surprising.

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First-year Ford F-150 Lightning production numbers doubled
Ford

Ford has begun serial production of the new F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, marking what could be one of the most important days in recent automotive history. The first trucks rolled off the assembly line at Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan today, so America's best-selling truck has finally gone electric. Ford wants to sell two million EVs per year by 2026 and have half of its global sales volume to be electric by 2030.

Ford F-150 LightningPast meets future: Ford's new electric pickup will be the F-150 Lightningautomotivemap.com

Ford has seen extreme demand for the trucks, with 200,000 reservations since the books opened. To deliver, the automaker plans to increase production to an annual rate of 150,000 units by next year, which involved huge investments in the Rouge Center and created hundreds of jobs. Ford's total investment for the F-150 Lightning crests $1 billion across Michigan alone, and has created 1,700 jobs across various facilities in the state.

Ford F-150 LightningThe first production trucks left the factory today.
Ford Motor Company

Though the Lightning starts around $40,000, the most mainstream models will cost much more than that. The F-150 Lightning Pro, while affordable, is a stripped-down truck intended for commercial buyers. It's still a forward-looking electric truck with amazing capabilities, but it lacks much of the creature comforts and features that everyday drivers expect. Higher trims get the latest driver assistance features, including BlueCruise, which is Ford's semi-autonomous hands-free driving assistant. A 12-inch touchscreen is standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and more.

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