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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

GM, Ford Follow Hyundai Buyer-Assurance Program

Detroit automakers General Motors and Ford are joining Hyundai in offering to make new car payments for buyers if they are laid off this year through no fault of their own.

Ford said today that it will cover up to $700 per month for one year on payments of any new Ford, Lincoln or Mercury purchased between April 1 and June 1 if the buyer gets laid off.

GM countered with an offer to make up to nine payments of $500 each if the customer loses their job. GM's program applies to vehicles bought between April 1 and April 30.

Hyundai rolled out an innovative program earlier this year allowing buyers who lose their jobs this year to return their vehicles at to charge. Later, Hyundai ramped up the deal, offering to cover payments for three months if buyers lose their jobs.

Hyundai sales so far this year have slipped lower than most, and the company credits the buyer-assurance programs.

A number of other businesses, including JetBlue, have created promotions aimed at the laid-off.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  March 31, 2009; 1:08 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Ford, GM, Hyundai  
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