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Ford Begins Used-Car Warranty Programs

November 12, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Ford Motor Co., following several competitors in offering "certified" used cars, said that its Ford and Lincoln brands are starting used-vehicle warranty programs that eventually will be available nationwide. Under the programs, Ford and Lincoln-Mercury dealers will put cars and trucks through special inspection and reconditioning processes and offer factory-backed warranties and three-day, money-back guarantees. The Ford Division program will be launched in the spring after a regional roll-out in the southeastern United States this month, while the Lincoln program will be introduced in major markets Dec. 9. A third program covering Ford's Mercury-brand cars and trucks will begin next summer, a Ford spokesman said. Ford estimated the annual pre-owned car and truck market at 43 million units and $370 billion in revenues. Ample supplies of used vehicles that have come off of two-year leases have given rise to several new used-car "superstore" chains, such as Circuit City Stores Inc.'s successful CarMax unit and H. Wayne Huizenga's AutoNation USA chain. . . . General Motors Corp. said strikes in the U.S. and Canada will reduce its fourth-quarter output of cars and trucks by 11%, costing the auto maker an estimated $666 million in lost profit. . . . Italy's auto giant Fiat will temporarily lay off as much as one-fifth of its Italian work force, or 14,800 workers, in December because falling sales are forcing it to curtail production.

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