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Ford offers interest-free financing for hybrid

Ford Motor Co. is offering interest-free financing on its Escape hybrid sport utility vehicle in California and Washington, D.C., to boost sales in markets that see strong hybrid sales.
The Ford Escape Hybrid is shown here on display at the Washington Auto show on Jan. 25. California and Washington, D.C., are Ford's two hottest hybrid markets.
The Ford Escape Hybrid is shown here on display at the Washington Auto show on Jan. 25. California and Washington, D.C., are Ford's two hottest hybrid markets.Linda Spillers / AP file
/ Source: Reuters

Ford Motor Co. is offering interest-free financing on its Escape hybrid sport utility vehicle in California and Washington, D.C., to boost sales in markets that see strong hybrid sales.

California and Washington are Ford’s two hottest hybrid markets, Ford spokesman Monte Doran said on Thursday.

“The real purpose is that we are continuing to raise awareness of the Escape hybrid,” Doran said.

In addition to rebates, Ford is also spending on advertising campaigns, featuring Kermit the Frog, that tout the company’s commitment to hybrids.

The advertising campaign helped drive a 13 percent increase in Escape hybrid sales in February compared to the previous month, Doran said.

Ford’s new offer in the two states, however, cannot be combined with the rebate of as much as $1,000 that the automaker already has on the vehicle.

Buyers in California and Washington can pick either zero-percent financing or rebates on the Escape Hybrid, which runs on both a traditional engine and a battery-powered motor, Doran said. The offer, which began on Thursday, ends in three weeks.

Ford is far behind leader Toyota Motor Corp. in hybrid sales in the United States, but is planning to increase production of the gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles tenfold to 250,000 by 2010.