Ford Courts GM, Chrysler Customers
Helps pay off their loans, trains dealers in 'conquests'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 22, 2009 12:25 PM CDT
President Obama reaches out to shake hands with Ford CEO Alan Mulally, right, as Chrysler's CEO and GM's president look on Tuesday in the Rose Garden of the White House.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – With General Motors and Chrysler struggling, Ford is moving to pick off some of its rivals’ customers, the Detroit News reports. The firm is passing cash to its dealers to ease Chrysler owners’ loan payments—so they can pick up Fords. Ford may soon do the same for GM owners. “We’re going to be aggressive, but we’re not going to be predatory,” said an exec.

Ford is also offering dealerships training on how to pull onetime Chrysler and GM customers into the Ford fold. The automaker has seen an increase of 5-10% in “conquests” of such customers—those trading in their old cars for Fords—in recent weeks, an analyst finds. “That is actually a big shift, because those patterns rarely change by more than a percent or two,” he says.