To say that Ford's introduction of its revised Power Stroke diesel engine in 2003 didn't go well would be an understatement. Buyers of such engines demand reliability, and the new 6.0L had some rather significant fuel system and induction problems, leading to a large number of service bulletins and even some buy-backs of defective vehicles. The problem has been made worse by the importance of this market to Ford, as it is currently the leader in diesel pickup sales.

In order to convince customers to come back to the Blue Oval instead of straying across the street to the land of Duramax and Cummins, the company is offering a $2,500 "loyalty bonus" to prospective shoppers who own 2003 and 2004 Super Duty pickups equipped with the Power Stroke. The company is backing this with a promotional push by its dealer network, and it's likely that most dealers don't need to be reminded why they should want to retain their buyers of $40K (and up) trucks. We believe that buyers ultimately must be convinced that the engine's problems have been addressed-- and that assurance isn't likely to come from incentives, especially not in a sale environment already polluted with cash-back offers of all varieties. It's our guess that word-of-mouth and the level of attention (and satisfaction) paid to previous problems will determine whether customers come back to Ford, or find their oil-burning fix elsewhere.

[Source: Automotive News]



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