Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG, the No. 2 and No. 3 automakers in the U.S., have added discounts on small sport utility vehicles as rivals cut into sales of the Ford Escape and Jeep Liberty, according to a Bloomberg News story by Bill Koenig.
Ford is offering $500 rebates nationally on Escape, and dealers where competition is sharpest may bump that to $1,000, said spokeswoman Susan Krusel.
DaimlerChrysler added $1,000 incentives on leases for Liberty in the Northeast U.S. including New York, Philadelphia and Boston, according to spokesman Marc Henretta.
The market for small SUVs has become more competitive with the entry of the Liberty, Hyundai Motor Co.'s Sante Fe, and a redesigned CR-V model from Honda Motor Co.
Ford's Escape sales dropped 28 percent to 29,964 in the first quarter, while sales rose 64 percent for both Honda's CR-V, to 39,053, and
Hyundai's Santa Fe, to 17,870.