Ford of Canada Ltd. this month is launching a new vehicle-scrappage program it hopes will better the environment while bolstering the auto maker’s bottom line.

The “Recycle Your Ride” program provides up to C$3,000 ($2,952) to consumers who turn in an ’03 model year or older vehicle toward the purchase of a new ’10 Ford or Lincoln product.

The program is a modified extension of a previous Ford initiative that was limited to older vehicles, says Dean Stoneley, Ford of Canada vice president-marketing.

“We ended (the former program) a month or so ago, and now we’re bringing it back, but in a bigger way,” he tells Ward’s in a recent phone interview. “We’re including a wider net of vehicles. Before, it was (model-year) ’95 and older.”

Stoneley is quick to point out the environmental benefits of the program, noting if 10,000 older vehicles were replaced with 10,000 new models, it would help eliminate about 83 tons (75 t) of smog-forming emissions in Canada per year.

And with nearly 60% of vehicles currently on Canadian roads qualifying for the incentive, the program has the potential to make a serious environmental impact, he says. Ford’s last program, which ran for about six months, took 6,000 older-model vehicles off roads.

The type of vehicle being traded in determines the amount of the refund, with cars eligible for C$1,000 ($984), cross/utility vehicles and “people movers” garnering up to C$2,000 ($1,968) and fullsize trucks and Lincoln products earning $3,000.

The Ford incentives come in addition to a C$300 ($295) refund available through the Canadian-government backed “Retire Your Ride” program.

Vehicles turned in through the scheme are recycled by Summerhill Impact, a government-funded organization based in Toronto.

Ford receives no compensation from the recycled vehicles, Stoneley says. “The vehicles are scrapped. Cars are highly recyclable, and over 80% (of the parts) will be reused in all sort of different applications.”

But as valuable as the program is for the environment, it’s equally as good for business, Stoneley adds.

The previous program “generated incremental sales for us,” he says. “There are a lot of consumers that are not new-car customers, and it brings them into our showroom.”

Stoneley says consumers who participated in the former scheme traded in all types of vehicles, including many imports, which was surprising for the auto maker.

“We did get a lot of conquest (buyers), and that was a key driver for brining this (program) back,” he says.

bpope@wardsauto.com