In an attempt to invigorate sharply declining vehicle sales following last week's tragic attack, both General Motors and Ford Motor Co. this week announced no-interest vehicle loans. The programs are scheduled to run from September 20 through the end of October.

General Motors was first to introduce its "Keep America Rolling" program, announcing it early Thursday morning. As early as Thursday afternoon, dealers were reporting increased showroom traffic due to customer interest in the new incentives. Says Jerry Holloway, general manager for Saturn of Alexandria (Alexandria, VA), "we have seen some uptick in sales this week. Already today we're seeing customers coming in and asking about the new rates."

According to GM, the current cash and lease incentives will remain in effect, but only as alternatives to the no-interest loans, rather than as added inducements. The details of GM's program is as follows:

2001 GM Cars
36 months 0.0%
48 months 0.0%
60 months 0.0%
2001 GM Trucks
36 months 0.0%
48 months 0.9%
60 months 2.9%
2002 GM Cars
36 months 0.0%
48 months 0.9%
60 months 2.9%
2002 GM Trucks
36 months 0.0%
48 months 2.9%
60 months 4.9%

Ford followed suit 24 hours later, introducing earlier this morning its "Ford Drives America" program. As an alternative to the Ford Drives America financing option, consumers can choose the current cash back or leasing options being offered. The details of Ford's program matches those of GM's and are:

2001 Ford Cars
36 Month 0.0%
48 Month 0.0%
60 Month 0.0%
2001 Ford Trucks
36 month 0.0%
48 month 0.9%
60 month 2.9%
2002 Ford Cars
36 Month 0.0%
48 Month 0.9%
60 Month 2.9%
2002 Ford Trucks
36 month 0.0%
48 month 2.9%
60 month 4.9%

The program excludes Thunderbird. The Focus and ZX2 financing rates are at 0.0%/2.9%/4.9% for 36-, 48- and 60-Month contracts, respectively.