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"Ford has been through some difficult times and is being very, very open about it. ... Incentives are not that high. The cost of those campaigns is not that high. For instance, most people don't qualify for 0% financing, but the offer gets them in the showroom, and they buy something anyway. And the other good thing about these campaigns is that they are very easy to understand. Zero percent financing, 2002 cash back. Car manufacturers are very guilty of complicated [incentive] campaigns. They've begun to realize that just making a transparent offer is actually winning customers over a lot faster."

-steve saxty, executive director-automotive practice, futurebrand

"One study suggeSTs that the majority of automotive brands today are under new ownership in the last five years. And that suggests a couple of challenges. It takes a long time to understand the DNA of a brand. [At Ford] all of a sudden you find yourself owning Jaguar; do you really understand Jaguar and how quickly can you understand what moves Jaguar, what Jaguar's potential is, relative to what Volvo's potential is? That is the challenge."

-ken roberts, chairman of lippincott & margulies

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