Finances

Ford offers vehicle loan payment delay option for Texans affected by severe winter weather

Ford Motor Company's financial services arm is offering relief to its customers.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Credit Company, the financial services arm of Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) has activated a disaster relief program to allow customers affected by the recent serve winter weather in Texas. The program allows certain qualifying customers impacted by Winter Storm Uri to be able to delay monthly payments.

"We care about our customers and understand many of them are going through a very difficult time right now," said Shannon Mokhiber, vice president, North America Business Center Operations. "We want to help and are offering them some time to recover."

The offer, which extends the deadline for up to two monthly payments, is available only to Ford Credit customers in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) -declared disaster area who are leasing or have purchased vehicles with financing from Ford Credit or Lincoln Automotive Financial Services. Over 60 Texas counties were part of FEMA's recent Texas Severe Winter Storms (DR-4586-TX). It is currently categorized as an active disaster.

Pedestrians walk on along a snow-covered street on February 15, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

Customers may initiate a payment deferral immediately using the Ford Credit Account Manager digital tool or may call this toll-free number: 1-800-723-4016. Customers in other areas who need help are encouraged to contact the company. The financial services company will send postcards and/or emails with information on how to request help to customers in the affected areas.

Nearly all Texans were at least somewhat impacted by the early February storm, which left left dozens of residents dead, millions without power, and nearly 15 million with water issues. "All 254 counties will have been impacted in some way by the freeze," Lee Loftis, director of government affairs for the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas, told The Texas Tribune. "That is just unheard of."

Houstonians are also able to receive additional relief for disaster-related issues. The Harris County Appraisal District announced that Houstonians whose home saw at least 15 percent damage and who live in a disaster-declared area are entitled to a temporary exemption of a portion of the appraised value of the property, according to CultureMap reporting.

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Ford EV manufacturing

Ford plans new plants in Tennessee and Kentucky

Ford's new TN facility may be one of the largest in U.S. history.

Ford

Earlier this year, Ford outlined its plans for significant investments in electric vehicle development and construction. Today, the automaker announced a big step forward in that roadmap that will include two new facilities, billions in new spending, and thousands of new jobs.

The $5.6 billion Stanton, TN factory will be called Blue Oval City and will bring 6,000 new jobs to the area. Ford says the site will include a BlueOval SK battery plant, and that electric F-Series trucks will be manufactured there. The assembly plant is designed to be carbon neutral and to send zero waste to landfills once it's up and running.

Ford Blue Oval City Ford plans to create a combined 11,000 jobs.Ford

Ford notes that Blue Oval City will be one of the largest automotive manufacturing sites in U.S. history. The campus sprawls 3,600 acres over six square miles, and will house assembly, battery production, and a supplier facility. The vertical integration of all functions on one site should lower Ford's production costs and reduce its carbon footprint.

The $5.8 billion Kentucky site will be a dedicated battery manufacturing complex that houses two separate battery plants. The location will supply Ford's North American assembly plants and is expected to create 5,000 new jobs. The facilities in both states are being built as part of a joint venture between Ford and SK Innovation, pending regulatory approval.

Ford Blue Oval City The TN facility is expected to be carbon neutral when it's up and running.Ford

The increase in production capacity can't come soon enough for Ford. Earlier this year, the Mustang Mach-E EV debuted to strong demand, and the automaker will soon roll out the first electric F-Series truck. Called the Ford F-150 Lightning, the pickup will be the first electric truck from a legacy automaker.

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The Mach-E is the first EV to pass testing.

Ford

Seeing flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror can either be a very good or very bad thing, depending on what you're doing when they appear. You may be in for a surprise the next time you see them, though, as the Ford Mustang Mach-E just passed police testing and could end up in municipal fleets in the near future. Ford Pro provided the vehicle for testing by the Michigan State Police and it passed, making it the first all-electric vehicle to do so.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Vehicles are tested in several key areas.Ford

The Michigan State Police tests include acceleration, top speed, braking, and high-speed pursuit programs. Emergency response handling is also tested. To help law enforcement agencies make decisions about the vehicles that will best suit their needs, the Michigan State Police tests new model year police vehicles and publishes results for use by other agencies nationwide. It's one of two agencies that perform such tests.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Ford Pro provided the vehicles for testing by the Michigan State PoliceFord

The Ford Mustang Mach-E landed earlier this year and has been in high demand since. The Blue Oval initially offered the EV in a handful of trims and recently added a high-performance GT model to the lineup. All versions of the SUV feature sweeping lines and strong infotainment tech, and some offer extended range batteries with an all-wheel drive option. However, if you're hoping to get your hands on one, be prepared to wait. Current delivery times on Ford's website start at 20 weeks and extend to 28-plus weeks.

Ford Mustang Mach-E The Mach-E launched earlier this year and is in high demand.Ford

Ford Pro is launching soon and will offer a range of electrified and internal combustion vehicles to commercial customers of all types. The portfolio will eventually include the 2022 Ford E-Transit and 2022 F-150 Lightning, and likely the Mustang Mach-E, given its ability to pass the law enforcement tests.

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